walking barefoot through the snow
By Kathleen Bleakley
1. on the highest peak we found stillness.
it was later, when we were descending, the wind shifted, cloud came over you.
the sunny face didn't last as long as it took us to climb back down.
2. so much, you asked of me: be with me, long days, long term, be mine, fill me, make me whole, you said i am hollow. hollow in the valleys, winds swept the snow, we walked through vastness, between rock crevices, your face fell in on you/ you became angry angrier with each step...
we were descending. i refused to give in to your demands, be with you &
you alone. refused not relented - you were relentless, keeping pace with me down the mountain. the snow wouldn't melt , we were almost there: you afraid, unwilling to go down the chairlift until i promised to be with no other. you refused to believe that this is where i stood at that very stone.
that i would go down alone, your cry now echoed in snow
3. the wind stung the tears frozen on my face. i faced into the wind.
you broke a branch, wrote my initials across the ski slope.
4. later, we were moving in a car, you asked did you see up there? no? not even your own name moves you to look out the window, you curled up in the corner, would not be moved.
5. we were moving in a car, autumn leaves held in the air, they did not fall. we were passing through a row of golden poplars. i photographed them, stepped out of the car, filled my lungs with the scent of winter.