The Unwritten Contract


Only when it is snowing hard and everything is thick

Covered and most people are inside and animals sheltered

Tracks enveloped and the horizon veiled whipping

Wind bites and stings fingers and toes burning

Long before black frostbite of cheeks and chin

Everything wet with the sound of my boots pushing

Pushing and dragging dragging carving shin deep

In the alabaster in the bleach frosted silver pearl

With my shepherd dog up ahead like graphite on canvass

Tracing the way home both of us steam breathing overheating

And concealed ice slip slip and recover and the sweat and silence

Of it all making itself be known in a number of muffled but sure ways

The heaving and cracking of the marsh and glass encased branches

Heavy  thump of clumps dropping off

A few dizzying crows and distant light grey smoke

It is like how life is meant to be laden boots lightening from time to time

And I would think coffee and a shower but not now not now maybe

And maybe I could keep going for one more corner one more tree

Or the deer that would crack me in two in the sheer joy of presence

Then that would be all

And I would go home and tell no one

And there would be no one to understand

And the thing this thing this whole thing

Would live inside me like a cloven hoof rune

A living wet thing beneath the transparency of my hoary thoughts

A tempest of cold grey trees talking to me in high occult

Birds I couldn’t see not in this weather inside myself

But I can hear them in the distance

Calling me something to believe something beyond here

Where the earth is more things than I ever imagined

And winter would stay with me by the fire idle talk

A thin branch of it taps it taps it bends in

Colludes with my river of consciousness

Not yet iced over

It waits for me tomorrow

My shepherd my walk

Already waits waits for me from tomorrow

Tomorrow already it says

But I wait for it

While it waits for me

An unwritten contract I am bound to

And a few more I am sure of it

The aches of my waiting my sting trudging

Freeze of my finger bones

Ache of my love that tires me

And the comfort of all in between




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