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A Skater’s Winter

It didn’t snow for Halloween
The Pocahantas Halloween that skater’s winter
Hundreds of little white girls dressed as Indians
Too cold to go door to door
They raided the stores in the biggest mall in Anchorage
Moms wearing ranch mink
Carrying their daughters’ pink coats lined with rabbit fur
Those trap lines are so romantic
Sulking teenage clerks handing out cheap waxpaper twists of taffy
No, we don’t have Milky Ways or Snickers or Dairy Milks
This is all we’ve got.

They’ll go skating tomorrow on lakes and rivers
Frozen down and down
A real skater’s winter
Huge horses raised along the Scottish Clyde will pull sleighs
And kettles of chili and chowder, hot chocolate and coffee
Will be slopped into mitten-wrapped Styrofoam cups.

The snow-removal people are all complaining
We’ll go out of business
Expensive equipment and mountains of grit
Sitting around, waiting for snow.

Everything turned around and out of sorts
That skater’s winter Halloween
Inuit and Athabaskan girls dressed as ballerinas.

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