Some of us parked our cars
with headlights aimed at the foot of the
hill, giving us a bright target area
at the bottom.
We headed up the hill
dragging our wooden toboggans:
a variety of sizes,
my four seater, a couple of deuces,
that seated eight.
Above us the top, stars hung
like a massive opera chandelier.
The dark hill swooped down
like more night sky
to the glowing patch at the bottom.
Giggling riders sandwiched themselves onto
their wooden carpets
hugging the shoulders
or more intimately, chests
and thigh clenching the hips before them
a little wiggle, and the toboggans
began their contour-hugging glide
gathering speed over the
surprising night-black snow.
The early silent ribbon-ride
a screaming roller-coaster
as the moguls turned the toboggan
into a bottom-smacking
gnout that left tailbone
and teeth ready to confess
to any imaginable sin.
The return haul up into the darkness
was repeated by fewer toboggans
fewer riders until finally
the patch of light disappeared
and silence descended
the rutted snow
A toboggan is a device made for sliding down a snowy slope. It consists of perhaps ten to twelve thin tongue-and-grooved slats of wood fastened together into a long platform that is cuved up and back at the front end. Sometimes these have a thin cushion for passengers. Tail-bone injuries are common, as are concussions which occur when the toboggan collides with a tree. Riders sit as they would on a floor, straddling easch others’ hips, and hugging the person ahead. It is a pretty intimate sensation, and very popular on outdoor winter dates, in a rough-and-tumble way.