Thursday, January 21, 2010

A poem

I thought this idea up while walking home from the train tonight.

Disney Presents: Stephanie on Ice!!

No easier in the dark than in the morning gray
Sidewalk shines in the white lamp light ... sometimes
Water or something less fluid?  Won't know yet
Until I plant my foot in what I think is run-off

In one small moment
A slide, just a fraction of an inch
Stomach lurches--I'm going to fall! and die! or break my nose!
Arms straighten
Back curves
Eyes wide

Other foot plants itself
Lucky that this part of ground
Has friction
Sweet, sweet friction

A stretch of sidewalk, well lit
No shine, no gleam--the only state of water is the vapor in my breath
Heart drops--I can see the end of the safe zone
Slippery packed snow awaits me

People too lazy to clear their sidewalks
Or too lazy to check and see
Whether it's their responsibility
Or the town's
Either way, I wonder who is liable
If I slip and fall
Possibly into traffic

The streets are mostly clear
With only a little shimmer near the edges
Still safer than a sidewalk
But only an idiot
Would think it safer to walk in the road
At night
Facing traffic
Wearing black
Than to risk a fall on a sidewalk
With snow to perhaps cushion the blow

The lesson of the story
Is that even the best of us
With years of experience
Still feel the lurch
The fear
The dread
Until the other foot lands on rougher ground
Maybe we fall less
But we don't slip less on the ice

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