I run barefoot in spring
not out of need but out of desire
splash in roadside puddles, feel mud ooze up through toes
Feet feeling winter retreat deep
into the earth, hiding, regrouping.
My feet drum the mating call of spring.
I run barefoot in summer
until calluses no longer wince at each stone, skirt each thistle
run feeling warmth of freshly turned garden soil, rooting worms with toes
burrowing deep until tiny tendrils of newly formed carrots curl round.
When Sun scorches Earth’s moistness I run cool rhubarb patches seeking shady Solace.
Run pastures where rustling grass signals snakes and cows chew cuds, where bees barter nectar for pollen with bluebells and buttercups, vetch and cowslips
I run barefoot in fall
when stubble fields sharpened by cooling nights stab at my soles
soles callused to their barb
run in woods high with cranberries signaling pregnancy
run, tilted skyward, to beating rhythms of geese departures
Leaves, narcissistic in their vibrancy, shiver reluctance to fall to decay
I crunch and cringe in their dying
I read the seasons with my feet
My feet shuffle the dance of winter
no longer sensitive to changing earth
a tentative soft shoe dance
on land waxed slick with ice and snow
wait until snow slushes
wait until sap rises reluctantly
stamp their impatience
for trees and buds and hope
to preen for spring.
Feet free of manacles leave
footsteps in the land