Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sarah Gilbert: "Tracks"

A quarter inch of wet March snow
each footprint on the sidewalk
clear, pressing flakes to melting

here my husband’s shoes
walking to work
there small bootprints of a school child

I follow my dog as we lap the block
her paired prints slaloming in a trot
mine pacing out behind me

and everywhere the drip prints
of tree branches, the tracks of squirrels
precise, perfect

front feet back feet as if pressed
in plaster or drawn in the guide book
by noon they’ll be gone

but for this moment they are here
crisp record of the morning
and I am here to witness

"Tracks" by Sarah Gilbert. Text as posted on Your Daily Poem (3/02/2014).

Art credit: Photograph by Annette Gendler, from her blog post entitled "Those Who Trod Before Me" (1/15/2015).  An excerpt, remarkably resonant with this poem: "A freshly snowed-on sidewalk reveals who has walked before us. I never quite appreciated that until yesterday morning.... As I walked along. listening to the squish of the snow under my boots, I looked more closely at the footsteps on the sidewalk in front of me. Someone had walked his or her dog; paw prints ran parallel to adult footsteps, except when they didn't.... And somehow this revealing capacity of snow made me happy because it was something that could only be experienced in that very moment with the snow thin enough to give prominence to the footsteps, and the salt still at bay."

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