Red Frayed Mittens


Few friends knew why I sat
on a snow bank, close to
frozen ice – watching them
skate –

My frayed red mitten would
be covering my pointer finger
as I drew names, houses, on
ice –

Mother wondered why I never
wanted to skate – she knew I
detested brown straps around
my ankles attached to sparkling
white skates –

We walked up Seneca Street
turned left on Lenox Road and
a few more blocks, there it was
Steinmiz Park, frozen for all
neighborhood children –

Wind blew into my face, a nose
as red as an apple, gloves –
stiff – so I sat – drawing
pictures with frayed red mittens –

Watched as Mother skated. and
all of my friend’s waved as they
skated my way.  Watched girls
twill as I did when I danced
on toe – or in slippers of pink
or black – without ankle straps.

I watched until Mother and my
Brother were ready to take
another cold walk home;  now
the wind against my back –
shoving me –

No one asked to see a city I
carved in ice – a city left
behind on a simple snow bank
with red frayed mittens.

  1. Avatar of Branka Cubrilo
    Branka Cubrilo says

    Nancy, I can absolutely relate to your ‘city carved in ice’ that had been ‘left behind on a simple snow bank’… I had many experiences like your skating one. Unwillingness to do the things for the sake of doing them! Unwillingness to be a ‘part of the crowd’, or to ‘have an arranged, organized fun’! I found myself in situations where I have had sketched little vignettes in my ‘little black book’ I always carried with me, or had written a lines while other’s were ‘having fun’. I see how you belonged to your world at that tender age, you didn’t like the cold wind, and the ice, and the activity, you wanted to be left alone in your perfect city… silent and free. I really loved the poem, loved reading this cold wind – it made my heart warm (and the red mittens represent the warmth of that creative hand). All best, Branka

  2. Avatar of Nancy Duci Denofio
    Nancy Duci Denofio says

    Loved your comments about this piece, which I am connected to as you are – and if you have been following most of my work – you will find more of the same. It always makes me feel wonderful when I find someone who is there with me, as they read. Sincerely, Nancy

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Angie's Diary