One foot
after another. Leaf litter crushed
by my tread whispers December.
Ice skins ponds cautiously.
extending thin fingers
of deceptive beckoning sheen.
The trail
like others turns retrograde
as I haul myself forward
future receding to times
where striding was standard
unworried by root humps or

of descent, when we laughed
over summer corn, chins dripping;
wreathed by smokes of sizzling fish.
The colors of August
are muted by aids for walking

stumbles, inked columns
of gain and loss. Ahead
a slice of sky opens.
I steady myself, knock sedge
from my stick. Trudge on