He Who Hesitates

My first winter ever, my friends, Kevin and Cathy,

asked if I’d like to take a cross country skiing class with them.

Both had grown up winter sports people; neither had ever tried this one.

My never having experienced snow at all boded ill, I thought,

so I declined.

That night, lying awake recalling all the things

I’d never done for fear of failing,

I couldn’t sleep.

The next afternoon, it already nearly dark at 3:30,

I went to where I knew the class would meet,

bolstered by a resolve born of the bravery one summons

in the wee hours of insomniac agitation.

My friends, all geared up, greeted me cheeringly,

showed me to where the skis were being distributed

by a tall, blond, Nordic type, who told me I was too late,

all the skis had been given out, the class was full.

Cathy and Kevin were disappointed; I tried to look thoroughly downcast.

It was another thing I didn’t try that, looking back,

I wish I had.

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