Each morning alone on the beach,
not thinking about how far I might
walk, I look back over my shoulder
to see my footprint trail in the sand.
At water’s edge spent waves rippled
menacingly close to my footprints,
a scene becomes instantly symbolic.
People known to me are like those
footprints. They’re also vulnerable
and then vanish thanks to nature’s
ultimate power to dismiss.
All footprints lack permanence, so
awareness of this causes my wonder
about folks thinking they can make
indestructible footprints on the path
of life’s journey. Why is it they won’t,
or perhaps can’t, grasp the fact we’re
ultimately destined to become very
small particles wafting in breezes
moving in all directions including
above beaches where down below
footprints always disappear.
Philip Reiss is a retired S.U.N.Y. community college history professor now living in Bethlehem, PA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org