FootprintsA Poem by J.V. Stanley
Had a rough day and was thinking about perception and the importance of being mindful of your surroundings-literally and figuratively.
I see the time passing
Breaking sounds underfoot from behind;
for sticks and stones may break,
but only underfoot and not because they’re cast
For who am I to cast? For I am no different than others…
I break just as easy…fragile as delicate as….
One can tiptoe, footsteps light when dirt is powder
I am perpetual winter warmed by the sun-
But no one will see.
For at first glance I’m seen as a trail in summertime
neat in a row, the trees along my path
shouldering the burden of leaves and branches as they stretch
reaching up as though in praise of sunshine
in lieu of the trickle of the cool water that sustains them.
Footprints, easy to hide, easy to cover, and easy to leave behind.
Everything green, alive, the sun warm playing songs upon the skin.
You can hear the rustle, the subtle sounds of grieving
the whispers as time changes all.
Stirring up windows and billowing curtains.
The trees relinquish their burden-
falling are those that appear light that amass so heavy over time.
They dance in their own way, these old and mighty,
waltzing with that invisible friend who appears when all must be shed,
so the wind, with delicate fingers assist to undress.
And though the sun shines light, its perception remains false
for nothing can remain truly warm without some cover.
Crystalline and delicate, frozen glass marking limbs,
Chime as the dear wind passes
…as if warning that its embrace is no longer welcome.
The cold is clean, refreshes the mind, the spirit-
every surface glitters, sheen.
You try to touch it-it melts.
You try to embrace it-it changes
Transforms until its apart of you, covering what you had exposed to it-
Until new friends sun and wind come to slowly bring it into the fold.
Then it is no longer yours, but theirs.
Nothing is ever had…it is borrowed.
If one understands fragility
then one will know that the path has drifted somewhat.
One cannot tiptoe without those frozen twigs snapping underfoot-
accidental breaks that one does not search to avoid.
Usually eager to get to the destination,
stomping through, cutting trails and leaving behind
footprints as they wade through drifts.
Their heads hit a branch,
shattering the delicate song of the trees, their soft chime muffled.
Rough and unkempt these steps,
Hollow and unfurled.
Bare feet numbed by time spent waiting,
take a tentative first step remembering where all had fallen
…imagine it within the mind.
So easily this path can be forgotten-
the ugliness of it,
how hastily it was created
The snow a puff and then it is gone.
Mindful of steps, slowly I broach the ground with toe, arch, and heel
Treading carefully so as not to disturb what lay beneath.
Soft padding of moss and leaves,
brittle sticks and blades of grass,
remembering where each lay in quiet.
Footprint encased within its slot,
enough to where it will remain-
for warmth of skin creates a mold
and whatever tracks it makes will remain in constant.
Though the wind may cover and the sun may distort,
the outline remains.
Tread carefully through what is delicate
for how you tread is how you will remain.
Footprints always have their way of leaving their mark.
© 2012 J.V. Stanley
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, MI
AboutMy first of many books is currently available on Amazon. Fire and Water is a collaborative collection of poetry written by Aramey as well as myself. http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Water-Collaborative-.. more..
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