Footprints of the Unseen

(c) Colleen Briggs

(c) Colleen Briggs

When fire flings
its last defiant spark
and torrents of leaves
crackle with laughter,
I wonder if you are dancing
on this flaming air?

Here, on this hillside of memories,
where dreams are laid to rest
like carpets of gleaming leaves
draped over stones.
I am untethered, adrift,
lured to the last place you touched.
You were there,
and almost here.

I remember clinging to those
last strains of Amazing Grace,
carrying us through this place
we never thought we could step beyond.
Yearning bagpipes on the hill,
grace that somehow came
and somehow still sustains.

Sun, hot on my eyelids.
I see red heat,
like the light you could no longer resist.
You waited so long
and finally it shone,
the light you walked into and through.

Crackling leaves tease,
I turn as if I could glimpse.
Shadows flit, peripheral,
only to disappear.
It is only leaves,
footprints of the unseen.

But on the breeze
your mirth slips through
the barrier of living and dead.
Perhaps you are tempted to breach it,
to brush these tears away.

So fine the line between you and me.

Your desire heaves leaves into the wind,
as you leap across the sky.
Leaves playfully strewn across my lap,
and I know you are thinking of me.

As surely as I hear your steps,
I know God sees them.

(a visit to my beloved father’s grave)

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