The Cold Unknown
When a freshly fallen foot
coats the ground
with a freshly fallen stillness,
everyone walks through it
by stepping in others' footprints.
No one is brave enough
to plunge a foot into the snowy depths
of the cold unknown.
I do the same,
carefully placing my booted foot
in the deepest impressions
that others have made
I stride between
Milton's size nine left foot
and Shakespeare's size twelve right.
I leap into Eliot's
relatively recent pair of parallel impressions
where he stopped suddenly, struck
by some profound,
Sometimes I even step
in shallow, incomplete footprints
left by some author
as yet unknown.
But as of now
I have never quite found the courage
to plunge my foot into the untouched snow,
and feel the rush of
the cold unknown
crawling up the inside of my pant leg.
The best that I have done
is to lift my foot
above the snow
and let it linger there a moment
like rain clouds gathering
before the storm.