Making Tracks by Clare Corbett

Last night the snow fell. Waking in the dark

I peered between the curtains. All was quiet.

One street light cast a circle. Overhead

the moon hung, veiled, uncertain. A few flakes

still drifted down, and paused, and touched and settled.

New shapes rose, rounded, smooth, new outlines carved

an unfamiliar landscape, boundaries blurred.

The road stretched pale and level, almost perfect.

One car had passed, slowed, turned, scored two deep tracks

and vanished, leaving in its wake a trail,

a graceful curve, a swathe of fresh-turned snow.

Today I watch my cat picking his way

across the icy crust, discomfited,

shaking each paw in turn, testing each step,

a shallow, cautious path. Along the hedge

march sets of deeper treads, maybe the fox,

a badger or some other visitor

invisible till now, while everywhere

the birds have spread their claw prints, sharp, defined,

etched in the white, a delicate tracery.



Clare Corbett