Upon the Drifts
Upon the Drifts
Upon the deep snow drifts I trod––
Grip––grip––through the deep night.
Flakes, like delicate crystals, fly softly, softly by––
The sole of my shoe, hard, dry and waxed,
Fails to stay steady, like a tree with its roots pulled free.
With my hands in my pockets and a taught ruddy face,
Head down, I trod the drifts of snow.
I wish this journey were over;
I feel restless, as though everywhere is nowhere.
Where did all this snow come from and where will it go?
Who will I be when it is gone?
Life is measured out by a dictator called Time.
There is no way out, no place to run,
Where I may flee this immovable clock.
Why must I submit?––––I am no slave.
Or am I? Have I been deceived?
Life is not really a choice, it seems.
We are forced to make a move one way or the other.
There is no way out–––am I just wasting time?
What shall I do? I cannot rebel.
I am powerless, my very existence depends on it.
The snow continues to pass under my feet,
Around my face and around my thin legs,
As time ticks and ticks away.
I am just where I started.
“Perhaps,” in my desperate optimism I wonder,
“Snow is more than a drift.
There must be a reason; perhaps it is more like a gift,
And by passing through and over it there is gain.”
Perhaps I am meant to wear these slippery shoes.
At least I am warm; maybe its is not all that bad.
I can see nothing in this blizzard in the night. Well,
Perhaps I could have been born not seeing at all.
And these hands in my pockets, at least they are there;
Feeling the cold would be better than not feeling at all.
But if life is hard, that is no guarantee.
Is a hard existence better than never existing at all?
Why not give in, lay down and sleep?
What drives my feet on if I am going nowhere?
If there is a purpose, I know not where it is
Nor how I may reach it. I am truly at a loss.
I pause in the night, my feet ankle-deep.
As I breathe out a sigh, I feel the snow trickle into my shoe.
The air is silent, like a great, full pillow;
My ears throb with the silence, my head tilts up.
I am much warmer than I thought I was,
My body is even breaking a sweat.
I’m quite content in this moment of rest
Watching the clouds of snow float silently down.
I will seize these few moments before they slip by;
I will play along with Time’s rule.
And since I cannot create time I know what I must do.
The only choice I am given is to make a decision.
I will embrace all moments I am given to live.
These, too, like snow, are really generous gifts.
They are not meant to limit and drive men to despair
But to remind and awaken a zeal to care:
To care about time, to care about people.
The moments are few, but I am not to blame;
My place is to live well with only the right aim.
Through snow and darkness–––beyond these is gain.