WINTER WALKS IN BOZEMAN
These leaves, they make
The most spectacular sound.
Their bodies are frozen, coated
In ice and each step shatters these
Delicate geometries. Crunch.
It’s different from other crunches.
It isn’t like the soft crunch of dirt,
Or the aggressive popping—flying
Shrapnel—sound of gravel. These
Are the leaves that aren’t ready for Winter.
Each step, heel-toe, is rolling
Rigid cartilage flat, snapping
Small veins like snapping bones.
I wonder if it hurts. To grow
Dry, brittle, plummet to the earth,
Falling, crashing, only to be
Soaked anew by endless torrents
Of rain, flash frozen by a winter
You are not alive to see because
You died when you let go, plummeting.
I guess it doesn’t hurt, this crunching.
Because the hurt was in the evaporation,
Every drop of water forcibly
Wrenching itself from your pores,
Leaving you parched—baking.
These dead bodies, leafy corpses
Huddle together underfoot, and
They crunch, collapse beneath
The weight of the living.
We stand on the flesh of
What has fallen, held up by
A legacy of collapse and crunch.
Walking on these frozen leaves,
I can’t help but crack these small bodies
With the same ease I crack
My fingers. And I can’t help
But use these frozen corpses
As earth on which to stand.
Carrina is a graduate of Montana State University in English Literature. A Colorado native, she now lives in Bozeman with her husband, Cliff, and dog, Freya.