Poetry

learning to walk

With my dog on the leash
I turn the corner toward the 7-11
and stop suddenly.

Yesterday's slushy footprints
frozen to a field of hazards
I pick my way gingerly
edging along snow banks
no longer fresh and white.

Where do you put your feet
when all seems slick
and questionable?

Slowly, watchfully,
I put my foot onto the ice,
hoping I've done it right.

Paws go more easily
with a tail for balance
four feet to work together.

We cross to bare pavement
increase our pace and look ahead
breathe harder and stretch our legs
until I slip and we correct
reminded to take care.

We climb the hill
and turn toward home
leaning to walk together.

13 thoughts on “learning to walk”

  1. “Where do you put your feet when all seems slick and questionable?”
    Lots more to this than meets the eye. Thanks.

  2. I love this. I really think poetry is your genre.
    My favorite moment of the poem:
    Where do you put your feet
    when all seems slick
    and questionable?
    I love how I’m in the poem, just following you and your dog, and then suddenly it gets deep ….

  3. I like the last line; “together.” The only way, it seems to me, to learn a new way of walking.
    lovely.

  4. Strong voices, rich imagery that draws in the reader’s senses, a seemingly effortless insertion of wisdom…yes! More poetry! MORE!
    P.S. Have you read Mary Oliver’s “Percy” cycle of 13 poems about her dog? I just discovered them yesterday and thought you’d really enjoy them. They’re in a 2008 collection called “The Truro Bear.”

  5. I loved the lines as well
    where do you put your feet/when all seems slick/and questionable?
    I have experienced this, both literally and figuratively!

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