Crispness against the skin
Sharpness,  biting,  sobering
A viscid fog of steam
Waves of exertion, exhaustion
Pushed onwards, ever forwards
A place of sanctuary
Of connection, of familiarity
Soul wretched and worried
It might be too late

Ankle deep in grains of ice
Shoes soaked, toes burning
Bitter wind, haunted eyes
A need to repent, to repair
Gasping with pained thoughts
Of hidden wars, broken doors
It was not me, never me
Yet it always was
Alternating regret and mitigation.
Even if too late

A shadow on the horizon
Fortress of fearlessness
A haze of nostalgia
Of peace and innocence
Gentle arms, soothing tones
Stronger soul, stronger mind
Heart screams out, a child’s song
Brushed against the lips
The sound jaded, faded
Worrisome.  It must be too late 

A barrage of light in the mind
Joyous sounds, celebration
A comforting hug.  Echoed again and again.
Blurs of smiles and a zest for peace
Shy eyes, secret glances, blushing skin
Look up. Kiss for the mistletoe
Where did it go?
This innocence.  The lack of fear.
Hidden by pride, by conceit
Humility and civility exposed them.  Too late.

Fingers graze across a mailbox
Rusted, tarnished, bent
A perfect thing of beauty
The path worn yet lovingly shovelled
As with always at this time
Spreading warmth, invitation, cheer
Showing love to even those
Who didn’t even love themselves
Those people are familiar.
That thought you realized too late.

Each step by shaking step is taken
The body craves onward
Yet the mind craves to run
Drowning in a sudden release of tears
To take everything back, to be whole again
Unsure. Then two steps.  Held breathe.
A gentle knock.  A pause.  An opened door.
A mirrored set of eyes exploring.
Explosion of movement, a crushing hug.
Echoed sobs.  A sense of release.  It’s never too late.


© 2022 Tim Norton.  All Rights Reserved