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
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
to whatever gate awaits,
even as their own creaks,
whether or not the wind blows,
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.
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