The east wind chills
as it sweeps out
the scars of the
beautiful surface,
still new.

He’s opening
the ice rink alone…

Forty three seasons,
she’d always found a way
to be there by his side,
that is until today.

None of them
will notice.
They’ll all just
pass on through.

No secret spices
in the cider,
and store bought
cakes will do.

Little touches missing,
no rose in his lapel.
The little ones with bruises,
who will they run and tell?

She knew them all,
that’s why they came.
No more favorite pairs
set out by name.

He worries, will
the new girl show,
and will she be
as kind?

Can’t wait any longer,
the ice, it must be done.
He’ll leave the side door open,
won’t know if she’s begun.

So much is out of our control.
Try as we might, won’t do.
So much we treasure, lost,
but some things can be made new.

He guides the great Zambonie,
and heals the ice once more.
The sun streaks through the buildings,
and a light comes through the door.

The rink is opened right on time.
In line the people stand—they came.
He rounds the corner of the shop,
and hears them call his name.

He smells hot cider brewing,
and fresh cakes are baking near.
Turns the final corner,
and drops a single tear.

The skates are on the counter,
each pair by name in rows.
The new girl holds the gate.
Each patron holds a rose.

This week’s poem is my wife’s favourite from my poetry/devotional book THE GRACE OF RAIN. The theme of love and devotion is fitting as we move into the St. Valentine’s Day season.

Excerpts from the backstory to this poem in the book:

The story I came to tell in, East Wind, is one born out of faithfulness, loss, sadness, and the healing power of love quietly expressed. . . 

The character of the old rink manager is a tribute to my maternal grandfather—a stoic, strong and faithful man. He exuded solid values forged in the great depression; husband of just one wife, faithful to his church, the Word and one company, from which he retired after thirty-five years of service. . .

He and my grandmother were the kind of people who never put on airs or made a big show of things. But once they were gone, people were quick to tell how much they meant to them. . .

As the first month of the new year begins to draw to a close, let’s resolve to make those investments of time in the activities and relationships that really matter most and will last. May we hold fast and grow in our relationship with God, who will give us the stamina we need to keep going when times get tough.

From the deviational section for this poem in the book:

When is it right to jump ship and change jobs, schools, careers or spouses?

What makes it possible to stick it out when times get really tough? Where do you find the courage to hold on and push through each drought to the next spring rain?

It is so good to know that when the going gets tough over the long run, God has promised to see us through.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NASB)

To read more about this poem and 30 others, you can pick up a copy of THE GRACE OF RAIN through Amazon.com, in a number of books and gift stores locally here in Amarillo Texas (list below), or just email me (kirkmanton@gmail.com) directly and I will send you a personally signed copy for the regular price plus shipping.

Local Amarillo Area Stores

Amarillo Candle Company • 2300 SW 6th Ave, Amarillo

Barnes & Noble • 2415 S Soncy RdAmarillo 

Burrowing Owl Books • 419 16th Street, Canyon

CB Boutique • 2819 Civic Cir, Amarillo

First Impression • 2613 Wolflin Village inside J Winston, Amarillo