Snowshoeing at Chamberlain-Reynolds

I ease my burley boots into the webbing aluminum frames,
waddle off to attempt Jesus’ miracle above eight inches of powder.
Redundant pounds are smartly dispersed
across a wide surface, confounding drifts
that have claimed stone walls and silenced
cries of the worse-equipped.
Boughs part for my parka. Both dead
and merely hibernating pave the way ahead.

My prints are lozenges.
Back at the parking lot, a family disembarks.
Their spaniel bounds these gentle dunes.
The woman knows their marriage is over,
the man has hope, if only she still laughs.

With a trembling glove he indicates
my traces to her and the boy.
“What?” she says. “Snowshoes.”
“No, no!” he gasps. “Not snowshoes!
Big Bird! Big Bird is here!”

Russell Rowland