Step Dance

I stepped upon a stair
at the back of our house
and felt the stair
bend beneath my weight
and felt the stair
answer my weight 
with its solid 
resistance of wood and stone.

I stepped upon a rock
in a dry riverbed
and felt the rock
rock on the rock beneath it
and felt the rock
turn under my ankle
as a shovel is turned
to spill sand.

I stepped upon an elevator floor
going down from the tenth,
jumped and felt the floor
fall farther than from a leap
and felt the floor
rise quickly to me
stopping to take passengers
on the ninth.

I stepped upon a pear
fallen in the orchard
and felt the pear 
spread its ripened fruit
and felt the pear
through the seams
of my shoes.

I stepped upon a train
for Montreal,
walked down the aisle and felt the train
accelerate while I remained behind,
walked up the aisle and felt the train
push me 
to my meeting
ahead of schedule.

I stepped upon a root
of an ash in bloom
and felt the root
crack under my foot
and felt the root
anchored in earth,
limb of a tree
the wind could not move easily.

I danced upon my father's ashes.
Stephen Brockwell

Created 1999/8/19
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