Streatham Ice Rink

Will Hatchett

Learning how to skate requires
An act of faith that you
Are not going to collide

The chipped concrete and scuffed paint
Are a makeshift world
Neither inside nor outside

Being afraid is what makes
My arms flap and windmill
And this causes me to fall

The fear is self-fulfilling
I am waiting to crash
Just as I have done before

Children do not know this dread
Of an unknown future
Graceful and elemental

They circle the shining lake
There is nothing in front
As they pirouette and slide

The rink in Streatham, in South London is the only Olympic-size ice rink in London. It is also the home stadium of a couple of professional ice hockey teams.