Have you ever felt your whole world
Underneath your feet?
Were you ever seared with deathly fear
Before each hill and street?
Oh woe it is when friction bids
Farewell to dainty shoe.
Then every slope's a desperate hope
Fair safety to renew.
When moody night, in age-old spite,
Transmutes familiar grounds,
The sidewalks grim, 'neath lamplight dim,
Engender panicked sounds.
What once by shoe was right and true,
A casual, painless jaunt
Becomes by skate, a fearful fate,
The novice heart to daunt.
The hard concrete beneath my feet
Can scrape and scratch and maim.
Oh verdant grass, you've saved my ass
More oft' than I could name.
And I am glad for all the pads
Around my wrists and knees
Which well prevent the cold cement
From grinding them to cheese.
But still I fear, for my skin dear;
I still can't use my brake!
So till that day, a gentler way
Will this wise coward take.
George Chadderdon © 1994