Ode for You Walking By

Today I have done my best

            to clear snow and ice, to make

your passage safer, a stroll

            in the park—you dog walkers,

speed walkers, neighbor lady

            taking your purse for every

three-times-daily trip around

            the block—you stroller rollers

and arm-in-arm saunterers—

            you neon-sneakered speedsters

and chunky-booted sloggers—

            yes, bluetoothed dude, even you

talking as if to yourself

            and pretending not to see

your dog doing its morning

            business in my neighbor’s yard—

you every day make my day—

            footsteps scraping, clopping a

steady beat, your back-and-forth

            passing calls me to wonder

where your way wends—you give me

            footprints in melted slush, path

I can follow through the muck

            these weeks have left in their wake.



Brian Simoneau is the author of the poetry collections No Small Comfort (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and River Bound (C&R Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Four Way Review, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, Salamander, Third Coast, Waxwing, and other journals. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, he lives near Boston with his family.