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.