Our first time to ski downhill,
Uncle Brian coached Luke and I,
like an expert swimmer
back-floats over waves.
He led us down the bunny hill,
and later, the
looping a long loose knot around the mountain.
We improved with the time
after time again
the long blue-white waves
cold and deep, bore us back
to the steady beach-like flat.
There skis leaned like umbrellas,
shading footprints filling
with fine white dust
from people in dark glasses
with wide boards on their backs.
After sunset we were getting last tips
at stopping up,
both of us watching Brian,
both of us sweeping toward him
the stinging spray of silver powder.
We made for him a foamy wake,
an almost perfect V,
ending at his feet
in a shambling tangle
of sprained joints and rented gear.
And Brian’s arm, a steady lifeline,
reached down into the turmoil
to pull us up from the cold breathlessness.