An Evening Musing

It's easier now, that winter's here--
With snow descending, draping white--
To recognize our paths.

What was once a field of green
And then a field of virgin white
Is now so many lines.
The path of one was followed by
Another and another still
Until the route was clear.

Once, in the grassy turn of year,
These textured fields invited folks
To dance across. Now polished white,
No man intrudes,
No foot escapes
Except a scar remains.

What common end leads all these ghosts
(Who really knows who leaves these prints?)
To destinations all the same?
Or is each content to take the way
Exampled by the first?

These tracks, one would presume, must mark
A tested route. It's easy to
Accept the ready paths.

Perhaps it's fear of leaving trace
Of possible mistake--how brave
The man who blazes trails (though, for
The first to cross, it seems
An inevitable task).

In winter Nature hoards, and all
That's not essential She discards
(Why else should trees be bare?).
In simple scenes are simple truths:
Old paths are easier to find,
They're easier to take.

Flakes scatter through the lamplight's glow
And dust the ground. In silence I
Must ponder on the paths I choose.
There's new snow. In the morning we
Will have to lay new trails.

I'm tired and it's windy cold.
I shoulder books and head back home
Along a well-trod path.

© Douglas Allchin
Bucknell, January, 1981