Office workers take to the ice
on a cold, gray December morning,
the freshly Zambonied surface,
smooth as skyscraper windowglass,
is soon slashed with scars.
As workers wrestle,
trying to attach blue lights
to the Bryant Park Christmas tree,
a man with his work ID
dangling from a lanyard
cuts between the skaters
with the same precision
as he did playing hockey
thirty years prior,
before he was a broker
for Reuters, just down 42nd Street.
His coatflaps billow in the breeze
his body makes,
minus hockey stick in hand,
as the Empire State Building
watches over the shoulder
of the American Standard Building,
with its burned black and gold-tipped surface.
American Standard has changed too,
much like this former hockey boy
has gone corporate.
Catherine Gigante-Brown is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, plays and poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications like Seventeen, Ravishly and Downtown Express. She has featured at Tom Kane’s BookMark Bards and Ken Siegelman’s Brooklyn Poetry Outreach, Voices of Poetry and also at the long-running Green Pavilion Poets. Along with late poet Darryl Alladice, Gigante-Brown developed a powerful spoken word piece called “My Brooklyn, Your Brooklyn,” about coming of age in the County of Kings. They have performed MBYB at several venues throughout the Tristate area, including the Cornelia Street Café, 440 Gallery, 61 Local, the Park Slope Barnes & Noble and the Italian American Museum. Gigante-Brown’s novels, “The El Trilogy” (“The El,” “The Bells of Brooklyn” and “Brooklyn Roses”), “Different Drummer” and “Better than Sisters” (which includes her poetry) are published by Volossal. Born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, Gigante-Brown, her husband and son make their home there and upstate in Rosendale.