Poem: Uncertain Footing

uncertain footing

Uncertain Footing

A light layer of snow fell during the night,
a wash of white covering the dirty ice
of last week’s almost melt. The footing is uncertain,
the treachery hidden beneath the beauty.

You are not fooled. Age has inured you to the beauty,
robbed you of your certainty, given you an awareness
that the surface is no more than that, a gloss
over the things underneath.

It is a safer way of being, but you miss the recklessness
of your youth. The innocence that all too often ended
in bruises and blood, but still had an exuberance
that only blindness allows.

You walk across the driveway. A little gingerly,
your eyes trying to remember where the ice patches
from the night before might still lurk.

You do not ignore the beauty. Never that. Soft lines
and soft words are still seductive. That will never end.
It is a wiring diagram that makes no sense
considering your history.

But you take in that seduction,
the soft lines of snow and promise,
always bracing yourself
for the fall.

About this poem

I woke up this morning with the words “uncertain footing” in my head, and so I worked those into a poem this morning.

It really did snow lightly last night. The snow really did cover the patches of ice in my driveway. Most of the rest is a miss of fact and fiction.

The picture was taken at the quarry across from my house.


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