Fearless, determined, yet circumspect, she briefly
glides, skims, and then glissades among strangers
on the ice rink in Archbishop Square.
The tannoy is broadcasting Christmas songs.
The skater coasts to ‘Chestnuts Roasting
On An Open Fire’ – music and words
by two American Jews and sung
by a man of colour from Alabama.
Before the Archbishop’s Palace – in whose
Hall of Mirrors, after Austerlitz,
Napoleon’s proxies sorted Europe,
with glitter ball diplomacy, for good –
she coasts, glissades, skims, glides.
'Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire'AlabamaAmerican JewsAusterlitzMel TorméNapoleonNat King Cole