Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fossil Record

The Fossil Record

Some things never change, the angle of
the sun at precisely this time of the
day, for instance, on this particular
date in the heart of winter.  Provided
the day in question isn’t overcast,

some successor of mine will peer up this
staircase, right foot poised above the bottom

tread, humming absently, thinking of lunch
or dogs or the persistence of
ignorance in the world then pause,
his attention drawn by the small footprints
leading to the top, hugging the left side

beneath the bannister, each carefully
pressed into polyurethane, long cured,

a fossil record revealed by the ever
reliable sun and sheer happenstance. 
Maybe he’ll take a moment to speculate
on the owner of the stocking clad feet
commemorated here, running a

finger over a gritty imprint,
perhaps raising a hand to the back of

his neck, the hairs standing on end.  I’ll
gently point out the almost imperceptible
concavity left by the balls of the feet, as I
hover, unseen just over his right shoulder, and
note the effort required to place each step just so and

ask him to imagine, eyes closed, the moist
tearing sound of each foot pulled free, heel first,

from the newly finished wood.  An embarrassing
reverie of course, no less so because he won't
hear a word I say.  He’ll follow your path up and
out of sight, leaving me alone, grateful for winter
sunlight that falls just so and my failure to

repair these stairs, the ones you learned to take
in bounds, where I linger, peaceful vapor.   


No comments:

Post a Comment