Footprints
by Cristina Lopez

    You echo.
    On a line far off
    You echo
    About this thing you have
    That I want to have,
    But you’re crying with it.

    Somewhere back there
    You’re whispering
    About sleep
    That drowns out the loneliness,
    A peace
    That takes out the heartlessness.

    And when I heard you say it I thought --
    For a second
    I thought
    I felt what you meant:
    A murmur of recognition.

    I wanted to know.
    I wanted to tear my heart out for you.
    Pull my hair out for you.
    Break my teeth into jagged pieces
    Because mine is yours
    Since the day we cried into cocoa
    And I called you friend;
    Since plaids and pleats and small defeats.
    Since then I’ve remembered and recalled
    The many walks I took
    That scarcely brought me home.
    Where are you going?
    What do you take with you?
    What burdens do you leave behind
    That I cannot carry,
    Cannot take?
    What weight do you shed that I cannot accept?
    Why ask?
    To know is lost,
    Not for lack of trying or crying.
    But lost.

    So I bow down to you --
    No saints,
    No sinners,
    No judge.
    No one here but me
    And you
    And an ocean of pain between us
    That I cannot feel or touch
    But watch
    And write about
    And hope one day
    These words will bridge my gap to you
    So you can know
    You never went alone before me
    I just followed to bring you home.

    ________________________
    Editor's Note: "Footprints" by Cristina Lopez originally appeared in our November 2000 issue, but due to Editor error the text was incorrect. We're re-running the poem in its corrected format for your enjoyment.






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