“Learning How to Love in the Frog Pond Ice Skating Rink” by Amanda Torres

Lessons from Charmaine

 The first time you come to the rink, you will not be dressed ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ”
‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ”
You will be all bright leggings and no gloves.
You will pretend brave until it’s true.
Your skates will be stiff, mismatched and two kinds of ugly.
You will surprise yourself when you stand.

Learning how to skate is not difficult
but you wont learn until you let go of the rail.

It will not be a straight line.
You will fall.
More than once.
Sometimes, harder than the last.

You must be willing to walk on blades.
You must learn to turn.
Spin water.

You will think you get better over time.
That your legs will grow graceful.
Don’t fool yourself.
You are sliding on knives.

When you find yourself in the center,
side by side with the pros twirling and jumping with too much grace
you know you are out of your league.

But girl,
you will do your out of balance,
two step side to side sway
next to the best of them.

And you wont            reach for the rail       again.

Amanda Torres

Amanda Torres

Amanda Torres is a mexicana writer, singer, teacher, and organizer who loves avocados. Winner of the National Brave New Voices Slam Competition &  veteran of Louder Than Bomb, Chicago, she showcased the first youth poetry slam in London. Amanda has received several awards for her writing and performance, including the Union League Civic Arts Foundation Award for Fiction.

Originally from Chicago, Amanda has been teaching for over eight years. She founded the first Youth Advisory Council at Young Chicago Authors and co-founded L@s Eloter@s, a socially engaged Latino/a writing teachers collective. Upon arriving in Boston, Amanda continues to teach ESL and performance poetry throughout the state. She currently serves as the Festival Director for the Louder Than A Bomb Teen Poetry Slam, Massachusetts and co-founded the Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance Collective (Mass LEAP), the youth spoken word programming arm of MassPoetry where she currently serves as Director of Programs and Youth Festivals.

For more information on Ms. Torres, including poems and a recently released EP, visit her website at www.torreswrites.com.