Pacing and Retracing My Words and My Steps (poem w/audio)

Pacing and Retracing My Words and My Steps
When not sitting still long enough to write
I find myself pacing and retracing my steps.
A purposeful stride while I walk and recite –
hearing the words, my words, as I read aloud.
Listening to the sounds that slice the silence
with their rhythm, pace, and tone. Television
and Bose quiet; the only voice I hear is my own.
Speaking with inflection, passion, and emotion
to pictures, books, and plants. Agreeable objects
that never blink, never question, never talk back.

A passerby might mistake my purposeful steps,
led with paper in hand, as the march of a ready
cadet walking toward a purposeful assignment.
Or perhaps, someone might listen and witness
the crafting of a speech prepared for the masses.
But there are no people passing by and there is
no purpose to worn lines and directionless threads.
Needing to see, hear, and touch to make this life
seem real. I now know how a caged bird or hamster
must feel – attempting to fly before hitting the side
or running and spinning toward exhaustion. Miles
logged, yet no compass is necessary, for there is
no wandering, no where to go, no way to get lost.

Several days of repeatedly surveying the
grounds of our plot and suburban spread,
before realizing my daily walkabouts were
doing more than passing suspended time or
adding more counts to tech on my wrist; they
have created structure on an imaginary path
that has confined my body, like a caged being,
but unlike a creature, trapped in survival mode,
my mind is free to roam, to explore, to know.

For an aimless poet retracing words and steps,
this path has no destination, this journey no end.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my poem about how my daily routine now includes reading and pacing through my house and yard – a routine and path I realized I was following several days into this “stay home” situation. I have to keep walking to release energy, while pent-up inside. 🚶‍♀️ Moving, writing, and reading aloud help. 🙂 Sending you an inspired weekend, wherever your walking leads. 💓Michele

Picture 1: Sign along a trail in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona Picture 2: Solo bird resting during a hot morning along a trail in Peoria, Arizona

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

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