Ode to Les
by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Seventy –six, two new hips, skates
that look pulled off a museum shelf.
He plays with guys half his age, plus
a few a full half –century younger.
Some skate around him like a cone
and you might hear Kaner mutter,
“Come on, Les,” but at least two times
every game that same bench chants
his name, Les, Les, when he steps in front
of a shot or picks the puck of a saucy
center who thought he’d glide on by
or sends a pass right on the tape
of a speeding wing. Les, Les, we stomp,
thanking him for being here, for
strapping on pads, pulling a jersey
over his head, snapping the helmet,
Les, Les, for the way you beat back
what’s coming at all of us with a stick.