Spiro Goulakos

The poem discusses ”Spiro Goulakos, an ice-hockey player for the Belfast Giants who overcame cancer in his university years and continues to play today.” Photo Source: Arch Graduates. 

Bethany Ashley, Contributor. 


The Zamboni threw a layer of clean water onto the ice, 

its driver giving a two-fingered salute to the one-man bench. 

Ten games out of the hockey season but he still skates 

on blades thin enough to cut the cancer out 

rather than drown it intravenously.  


He pulls his jersey over bloodwork bruises.

First cracks his joints, then his stick against the floor.  

After-hours lighting casting a green shadow across his face, 

he carves a network of capillaries into the rink.

The ice too fast, the puck flies towards the boards.

He chases it as sweat collects on the back of his neck. 

Turning swiftly but not wanting to stop in time,  

his body ricochets against the plexiglass. 

It shudders and trembles under his weight. 


Breathless, he curves back from behind the goal, 

skate catching on a rough part of the line.  

He swings the puck top-right to the back of the net, 

his body only off balance for the slowest moment.  


Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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