Bare Feet

5b08cf27677fb372a80305bc643de477

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.


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

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7 thoughts

  1. This is strangely beautiful. It’s not an obvious subject. I’ve read it 3 or 4 times now, and I like it more each time. I particularly like the ending, those sadly smiling sleeping feet.

  2. 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!

  3. 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…..

  4. 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.

Any thoughts?