Word Sounds


Four feet move quickly over frigid earth

Grinding on the road, the noise to thought gives birth:

What sound is it that rises in the air so cold and clear

And works its phonic magic upon my frozen ear?


The crisp sharp crunch of pack snow under toe

The squeak of leather soles on icy crust

The frozen scrunching crack of steps upon the go

The solid haunting echo from the shattered frosty dust.


What word can speak the message of the snow?

The sound heard there no human voices know

A sound of common life, experience, and haste

A sound of time not held nor left to waste

A sound known daily to a million feet,

Yet half a million mouths cannot repeat

Nor may the lovers there together share

The common word;

The sound itself is lost on winter's air.

 © Philip Knight 2018