She left him in mid-breath,
Her letters piled up,
On the kitchen table
Her voice still on the machine,
Apologizing for her absence
And imploring the caller
To leave a brief message.

When he travelled to the places
Where they’d met,
The footprints were all worn away,
The old, familiar faces gone.
Their quaint seaside hotel
Now seemed sad and shabby,
The new owners puzzled
Why he’d come
With a photo of a woman
They couldn’t recall.

The secluded cove
Where they’d made love
Was littered with bronze bodies
And watched by tall white condos,
Angled so each unit
Faced the flat green sea.

It was only when he held
His daughter’s infant girl,
And felt her tiny fingers
Searching for a breast,
That he recalled his late wife fully.
Cradling the baby’s sole
In the palm of his hand,
He wondered what footprints
It would make.

(Originally published in Leaves of Ink)



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