‘Mr. Nason Skating on the Merrimack’ by Tom Sexton

Mr. Nason Skating on the Merrimack


In March of the year we were in kindergarten,

Mr. Nason told us how on one cold night

he skated from Lowell to beyond Manchester

where we knew the river vanished with a sigh

and the moon’s breath was frozen to the ground,

a silvery rope he climbed to the distant stars.

Looking up,  we asked him how he got down.

He pointed to the arching Milky Way so far

away from where we stood. I imagine him

skating from canal to canal into the Merrimack,

a boy wearing a long woolen scarf skimming

over the ice, leaping fall after fall like silver

salmon of myth, a boy who will soon go to war,

a boy bathed in the light of Venus not Mars.


—Tom Sexton, from Bridge Street at Dusk (Loom Press, 2012)

To order a copy, visit www.loompress.com

Bridge St at Dusk cover