Snow Tubing by Michael Mingo

Snow Tubing

For this tangle
of orange mesh
and stakes splintering
under our chins,

we lugged our hunks
of slick rubber
uphill, like wagons
bound for the West.

At the top, men
in black jackets
told us the slopes
were running fast,

less snow than ice
dressed in powder.
Our ears, red from
the wind, heard that

as a challenge.
With running starts,
we almost lifted
our bodies off

the edge, giddy
as we slipped, curled
into the paths
of other kids.

No collisions,
but still the lack
of friction soon
left us spinning,

the start and finish
blurring together.
loosed from their bases,

we laughed until
the rumble strips
and other men
in black jackets

couldn’t stop us
from crashing. Now,
we push the mesh
from our eyes, wonder

how sharp these points
at our throats are.
It’s the last run
before our parents,

panicked, call us
from our journeys.
A gust comes through
and claps our ears.

Michael Mingo received his MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Spillway, Harpur Palate, Tar River Poetry, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. He currently works as a proofreader and resides in northwest New Jersey.