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HOCKEY HEAVEN- A Winter Road Hockey Poem

Reader Joe Santi – a 50-something goalie – sent this in tonight.

by Tarzana Joe


photo thanks to Tom Purves

I remember it so clearly
As if it were tomorrow
On the best day of December
Seven from the end
(I was eleven)
And a soft snow began to fall as daylight disappeared
And we could see, my friends and I,
That this was no ordinary snow
No, this was perfect, packing snow
The kind that comes only once or twice in a childhood
The kind that made monstrous snowmen
(You know that snow)
The kind that didn’t stick to gloves or melt through mittens
It made baseball-size snowballs with ease
Ones that could be tossed with pinpoint accuracy
At telephone poles or kids from the next street
And this same snow, when tromped down by bald, buckled galoshes
Made our dead end street into a hockey rink
No skates—just sliding boots and sneakers.
And we played that night
By streetlight
As the TV-special snow dusted down
Hockey between the curbstones
Hockey between the trashcan goalposts
And we never rested
And we never tired
Way past our bedtimes
And we’re playing still
And our parents never called us in
As if they sensed the perfection of
That snow
That game
That night
And if you are eleven
(Or ever were eleven)
Then this, my friends, is heaven
This, my friends, is heaven.
And those of you who doubt
The things you knew at seven
Then this is proof of heaven
This is proof of heaven
And, oh, my friends back then
Bruce and Ray and Kevin
Remember this with me
When we all return to heaven.

About The Author

David Hutchison

David is one of the founders of InGoal Magazine which he began in 2009. Of course he finds time for some goaltending of his own as well, and despite his age, clings desperately to the idea that some NHL team will call him to play for them - though in his mid-forties (OK, late 40s) it'll likely be for a practice when everyone else on their depth chart has the flu and the shooter tutor has gone in for repairs.