Daydreaming instead of walking
The tiles feel like smooth stones beneath my feet.
And that old hall carpet has soft reeds so tired
from years of tread they barely speak.
The skin of my heels is old too,
but still somewhat working nonetheless.
It’s over fifty years now
since I learned to walk.
And the trees outside are the same.
The sky and the flowers.
I’ve learned how to feel the earth
through my toes. Sometimes the ground
moves so hard I can barely stand. Sometimes
my body doesn’t remember how to stand upright.
Sometimes I don’t quite understand
that the map won’t always lead home,
but I go out, nonetheless.
The infinite ocean feels cold. Too cold.
And the sand is hot as hell. In the deep woods,
such extremes are impossible, so I prefer
it there. I walk on moss-soft rocks when I can,
whispering to the snakes about waves
and dunes and impossible skies
they’ll never see.
But I’ve broken bones like this. Daydreaming
instead of walking. I’ve gone down into the pain
and back out again, though imperfectly.
Everything about life is like that: the tiles—
cracked and crooked, the fraying reed rug,
the startling chill of the dark forest.
The quiet moss, dew-wet and alive
over stones long dead.
This is how one goes from youth to old age—
one step into another. Repeat.
And then from old age into the next age,
where the world of souls is constructed
of trees and stones. Where the moss
is deep as an ocean and just as impenetrable.
Where the sand is warm as an old reed rug
and we can all lay down together,
give our feet a rest.
Editor’s Note: As an editor, I feel it’s important to avoid indiscriminate self-publishing, but on one day a year, perhaps you will forgive me (yes, it’s my birthday).