what with the rain and driving wind
the whipped up frenzy of other people's overcoats
and nothing to watch outside except
December bearing down,
it is hard enough just to keep my eyes
on level ground.
even walking the path toward home,
i barely miss the slippery patch on the bridge,
the stray tennis ball threatening an ankle break.
in the day's final countdown,
I want only a dry pair of socks,
a cup of tea, silence.
but what my walk ignores goes beyond
the middle distance of forks in roads.
had i waited,
i might have seen a girl
splashing life into a puddle.
foregoing her mother's insistence on a good umbrella,
she'd run outside, into the heart of the storm,
wanting the pure abundance of it,
the feeling of mischief or bravery or just
if i'd waited, i'd have seen her
heave herself into the heavy air,
part the rain with unrepentant hands,
and splice the very earth
with her joy.