Issue Thirty-Six - Summer 2020

Footprints in the Snow

By Christopher Nye

Debussy, “Des pas sur la neige”

These are French footprints,
leaving the road north of Beauvais,
disappearing into a Norman wood.
Boot size and tread say—a man.
Parallel tracks say–a large dog,
not frisky, not adventurous.
Were they both old?
Blood soaked the fields near here,
many times. I wonder if that stained
his life. And what thoughts
prompted him to break away
without human companion?
Did he care to see the late sun
caught in high cirrus clouds?
Did ardent memories
move under his beret
or knitted cap?
The tracks do not say
if he was a man of will,
whose heel commanded the ground
or what rhythm of his feet
brought him here.

The footprints, like the questions,
will fade, down a deserted lane
through Celtic rowans and gnarly oaks.

Copyright Nye 2020