The cracks on winter’s skin

 

The cracks on winter’s skin

by Ashley Naftule

 

 

The future used to feel
like an open field,
bathed in sunlight.
An infinity of detours
and royal roads
forking from my footsteps.

Now I see the field for what it is:
A frozen lake.
An infinity of cracks
and seams
waiting to swallow me whole
if I take the wrong step.

But I have to keep moving,
because if I stay in one place
for too long I’m sure to plunge.
So I hold my breath,
the air forming crystals in my throat,
as I pick up my feet
and hope it meets something solid
on the other side.

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