[Poem#24] Winter Walks

I would hear the second step creak
as 6:30 came to life. A split second with sleep

in my eyes, a decision. Somedays, I ignored
his whisper at my door, though the squeaky

old hinge announced his arrival with a high-
pitched whine. Then he tromped back down,

as quiet as he could on wooden floors with a bad
leg, an uneven pattering down the stairs.

Other days, somehow, I rolled off the sheets,
grabbed a sweatshirt and socks, not speaking to him

as I followed him to the entryway, damp
still with muddy, melting boots, and listless

mittens. I grabbed the heaviest jacket and driest
gloves, dallying just a moment in the heat

of the indoors. Outside, the air cracked
with the before-glow of the anticipated sunrise

and the foggy coldness that created smoke
in our mouths. The chain jingled around her big head,

her coat equal to the challenge of the Alps or
the South Dakota drifts. All three, we walked in silence

down a road paved with gravel – at least I recall
no conversation – the horizon stretching to infinity,

not impeded by mountains or hills. I covet those frigid
mornings where I couldn’t wait to return from a

walk with my father. I swear I wouldn’t
take them for granted now.

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2 thoughts on “[Poem#24] Winter Walks

  1. It took me a while to figure out what part of your life this poem came from. I really enjoyed it! I know from my experience that time with our dads can easily be taken for granted. Was it a horse you walked with?

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