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

swirling  falsly,

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.