Each footfall feels like a heartbeat
Alone here in my head
Silent along the shoulder
Morning air

The beginning is all noticing
Breath, shoes, clothes
Sound, feel, fit
Ankle, feet, arms
Stiff, roll, swing

Next is taking in the world
The round barn I never notice
Behind the house that has always been there.
The way the old dog rises slowly
To watch me halfheartedly
The cats that startle
The birds that don’t

Then it’s all thoughts
Ticking off the day
The to-do’s
The yesterdays
Yesterday’s yesterdays

Until it all clears away
And the footfalls return
Longer now
Loose, but tired
House getting closer
But not as close as wishes

Nichole M. Dulin


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