I’ve a pair of sturdy old boots
that nearly have the creak gone out of them,
steel-toed rostra that might have sat
at the stage edge waiting for a spool
to wind or a leaf to fall.
I am troubled by autumnal words
strewn hither and thither by the cracked winds
of eyeless Vallombrosa.
There is a morning chill; little comfort
before the day begins or ends.
It is death who follows with bare feet,
lightly crossing the red stained tiles
in fear my boots would crush her brittle toes.