Hands must be ready to fling out at all times--
loosely held in pockets, unclenched.
Feet lead toes first, your full weight
relying on only tested ground.
They must be there, those unsalted patches
that traffic has packed dome-smooth
like the dried mucous that hardens
under a wiped nose.
If it were up to you, you would slide.
You would kick up slush behind you running,
trip where you must, mix mud in an open wound,
heave yourself up, keep running.
You aren't afraid to fall, but being careful
is hardly a choice, just something your body
does for you, like a sneeze or a shiver,
signs of the brain's faithlessness
in your own best judgment.