“Footsteps (Old and New)” by Barry Ballard

Barry Ballard


When you walk through blizzards or a sandstorm
Your footprints will disappear as soon as you
Step out of them. There’s no way to review
The places you’ve been. The meanings get worn
Away so quickly that everything sworn
As a truth is seen as a lie. You do
Your best to brace yourself, but life this new
Hasn’t washed the blood from just being born.

That’s how they see your choice to start again.
It goes through the birth-pangs of a divorce
With people in the room that don’t belong.
There’s blood about everything. Someone tends
To covering up the past. And you’re forced
To save it, before every footstep’s gone.

from Rattle #11, Summer 1999

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