I walk a newly muddy road
with hurting feet.
Birds cheep, relieved
by the thaw–I do not think,
listening to them, of wings–I am not so
grandiose, even in need–but of how,
for the past few days, geese have honked
above cloud cover, braying
like fox hounds, and of how my feet hurt
just like those honks,
invisibly but oh
so loud (if feet in boots in snow could
be but heard)–not like these murmurs
of smaller birds, fading already in the rush
of swollen stream.

And I wonder, weighed down
by the particular gravity of borrowed boots (having despaired
for the moment of my own), whether in all the multitudes
of geese and universes,
there was ever any single one in which–
except I remember that the geese
actually did break through the clouds yesterday,
or the sky did,
and how they jockeyed for position, realigning
their V as they turned
this way and
my feet did not hurt.

I come up with college, picturing my high
rubbing against a bristle of bare leg,
and how (later), my boyfriend used to lean
over my notebook and write, ”Sweet feet,”
and then, “Hi Petie,” though my name holds nothing
of the Apostles–I think he just liked
the rhyme.

Now, I walk a stretch where stones still part
from ice casings, which somehow brings up
because of the rhyme–
when really it is dust at stake
when it comes to the future–
my foot bones a dust
in the process of being ground–

though they will, I hope, even dusty, carry me
south or north, veer
east, west,
to whatever gate awaits,
even as their own creaks,
whether or not the wind blows,
birds riding
on its wings.


Here is very much of a draft poem, and belated to boot, for Bjorn Rudberg’s post about time travel on With Real Toads.  He asks us to use a poem with different tenses.

I do have very difficult feet, pictured above, though the picture is not from this week.

I’m sorry to be a bit late returning comments but hope to visit tomorrow, as I wend my way back down to NYC.

Finally, if you want to get yourself a book for Christmas, think of one of mine!  Two on kindle for 99cents, all available also in print on Amazon


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5 Comments on “Gait”

  1. This is so good.. how you bring the gait to the gate at the end. How you carry us from hurting feet to the metaphysics of the life and death.. still I hope for you that the winter will be kind to your feet and that the birds will sing more than the geese might honk.

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    Those are very determined-looking feet. This poem is really good, k–draft or not, for focusing on the very alive relationships between physical and spiritual, natural and metaphysical–it also makes me think of that old saying about how if you want to forget all your other troubles, put on a pair of shoes that don’t fit–better than any drug for taking your mind off your sorrows, for sure. (I spent a lot of my working life on my feet, and there is nothing that consumes your consciousness like sore ones.) I especially like these lines:
    ‘..when really it is dust at stake
    when it comes to the future–
    my foot bones a dust
    in the process of being ground–’

    Safe travels and soft landings, dear k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. My feet are very determined looking. They are incredibly bony. I have been told that I have a couple of extra bones in there, but I don’t know if that is really true. Hope you are enjoying your own bed! k.

  3. How I love “whether or not the wind blows, birds riding on its wings” – so beautiful!!!!! Ouch! re the sore feet!!!

  4. First of all, I loved your poem. I don’t know why but it goes well with the music I’m listening to now, blues. I have my favourite blues app on and Ursula George has just come on. Beautiful piece. Thanks.

    Greetings from London,

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