First Tracks in the Snow

The following is a poem from my new book, Morning Rounds. Is there somewhere you can find this book? Why, glad you asked! It’s available in digital form on Amazon and Gumroad, but you can find more details here.

On quiet winter mornings, the whole town hesitates, waiting for someone else to make the first sound. Even the commuter’s car warms up in whispers.

You and I head out for our morning rounds, our footsteps falling silently with the falling snow. You say nothing, which is all that needs to be said.

Snow falling softly
Over quiet morning streets
The world at rest

The Walker tells of silences, how the early morning silence, bright with anticipation, differs from that of the afternoon or night. He talks about silence the way the Inuit famously speak about snow. Snow is too small a word to describe the first snow of autumn, or the heavy spring blankets.

But how would you describe the silence of the early morning after a nighttime snow? The path, nothing but a memory resting beneath the fluffy fresh layer, the canvas inviting first footsteps to quietly make their mark.

The snow is light, and like a feather we soar silently across the top, inscribing a single run-on sentence onto the blank page, this fresh day where all is new and free and fresh.

Making fresh tracks
Snow dancing through the air

Without fail, the footprints appear. Again, we’ve lost the race for first tracks. Deer, criss- crossing the trail, then skirting the edge, suddenly turning into an invisible trail through the brush. Then the rabbit, it’s telling dot-and-dash patterns writing stories from the night.

And what’s this? A fox? We take note of the path, wondering at every pause of the tracks, each shuffled patch of snow where a nose went searching. What was she looking for? Where did she go?

The dead of winter?
A thousand snowy footprints
Suggest otherwise