I don’t ask if you remember
those footprints in that cave –
mother and child, walking.
I wonder if she took a moment
to look back at where they’d walked,
or if she kept on moving,
eyes fixed ahead.
Our footprints will be gone
by lunchtime – washed away,
meltwater merging into mud,
and looking back, it’s hard to know
which of us is mother, which
is child. You’ve grown.
Sneaked up on me, like time.
This is for Brendan’s earthweal challenge on Deep Time. There’s a bit of synchronicity here – I had a poem called “Pech Merl” published in Black Bough’s Deep Time II collection last year. Walking in the snow at the weekend with my son reminded me of the parent and child footprints we saw in the caves there, several years ago. I had that in my head trying to be a poem, and then Brendan’s prompt came along. If you’re interested, there is a Deep Time soundtrack with lots of great poetry readings here: https://soundcloud.com/stuartrawlinson/sets/black-bough-poetry-deep-time
That’s a beautiful poem. You have used a simple idea, and made it rich with allusions to the different forms of time. You’ve linked your personal history to the history of humanity, and woken emotional resonances from both. It’s a delight.
I really adore this piece.
This is beautiful Sarah–a lovely reflection on the passage of time.
Time has a habit of sneaking up on us. A beautiful and poignant reflection.
So wonderful – those mother and child footprints, in the cave, and then your more recent ones. Kids do grow like that – so suddenly they are grown and gangly………..
Just a simple walk with someone can totally reorient our connection. (K)
Who’s following whom? A nice twist to this, Sarah.
I love this poem with all my heart, Sarah. I know that feeling of time sneaking up on me only too well.
Gone in a moment and forever here, that’s the paradox I read in those footprints. And the mother and child are present and thousands of years past. Ambled past and catching up. Great weave of immense time- and heart-scales. – Brendan
Brilliant as usual Sarah.
Such a deep message in so few words.
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