For Vonn and Mancuso and all the angels
Who ski for the U.S. Olympic Team.
In the quiet white of a winter day,
Snow angels joyously descend to earth
And press their tiny forms into the snow,
Stenciling memories on the hillside.
With measured wing-flaps and scissored leg-swipes
They leave dimples where giggled blessings pool.
In later years, their innocence gone,
Fallen angels plummet headlong to earth
And punch ragged holes in the pristine white
Mountainside, blemishing its sculpted face.
What harsh “blessings” the earth receives from them now!
Undaunted, they rise again and spread their wings,
Enticed by the seductive power of flight.
At last, full-grown, the Valkyries appear;
Battle maidens all, they ride the lightning
Flashing from their heels, zigging, zagging;
The mountain shudders at the thunder of
Their descent. Bravely they carve victory
From the edges of defeat, streaking ever
Earthward from the heavens. The battlefield
Is theirs; they claim their prizes, defiant,
Already preparing for their next flight.
This truth is eternal, and clear to all:
Snow angels do grow up to be Valkyries.