Bare Feet

Submitted by Willie Smith

For Susan

The snow they print, melt and in it
become numb. In the sand
they reabsorb the set sun. They pad,
they slap, they lope, they never tap.
Their faces are calloused and wrinkled,
yet pink with mirth and innocence.
Like young mountaineers
they smile quietly
and plod on.
The stars rise,
the trod grass springs back.
They have no mouth to laugh
nor eyes to cry.
They see in the night
down a moonless path,
while through a bare smile
hooked at the heels
they speak the sadness of sleep.



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Photo credit: “Footprints in the Snow”-  Nigel Fletcher


Published by

The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

7 thoughts on “Bare Feet”

  1. sarahsouthwest: Thanks kindly for taking the time both to read carefully and to comment insightfully. I think poetry would be a lot more popular if more readers were, like yourself, willing to let the herb sink in. Best of luck with your own work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The gentle imagery of stepping quietly through the beautiful poem, gradually caressed my thoughts of footprints in the snow…… and sorry….. I’m smiling to myself as I’m typing away, conjuring up visions of snow, at the moment here in Geelong the temperature has risen to a hot 110’F……. we are definitely worlds apart…… Loved this poem, for cooling my soul…..

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I like this poem a lot. The images are just enough off-kilter to make the reader sit up and take notice, and close enough to the familiar to be beautiful. I especially like ‘hooked at the heels’. It has such a youthful, jaunty feel to it.

    Liked by 3 people

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