Poetry: Footprints by Matthew M C Smith

(for my father)

Our footprints, the tracks of our play,

going all ways, ran deep along the shore.

All our lives we laughed along that stretch,

we laughed at simple games, splashing

through pools of silver, across sands of

burnished gold. We laughed against the sky

and you listened to young voices,

spellbound, time out of mind.

That day, the wind whipped the waves,

the swell surged, we were beaten

by torrents, caught in the rising storm,

the crash, deafening.

We floundered, soaked to the bone.

The light was cold, so very cold

and we shouted as we saw you,

separate, tides encircling,

gazing out in silence.

We saw your still, bowed head,

as if in prayer. The rip took your feet,

and you were taken, consumed,

the falling man.

We took your arms, hands,

searched in eyes of ages blue,

taking that curve of jaw, seeing your soul

as a burning ship and still your head was bowed.

As the tide slipped, you were white, so white,

kissed by time’s silent lips.

No cry, nor whisper, a cross shape near

crested roar and the people you love

carry you from the shore

BIO: Matthew M C Smith is a Welsh poet from Swansea. He has been published in Poetry Northern Ireland’s Panning for Poems and The Seventh Quarry and won the RS Thomas Prize for Poetry at the Gwyl Cybi festival in 2018. He particularly enjoys writing nature, cosmic and mythic poetry and has written much of it in the wake of his father’s death. Matthew is the editor for  Black Bough Poetry. He tweets at @MatthewMCSmith and @blackboughpoems The Black Bough website is at www.blackboughpoetry.com

Photo of Michael CAF Smith (Matthew’s father) 1948-2012

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

1 comment

  1. David, thanks for originally publishing this in the grief edition last year and for re-posting the poem this year on Twitter. My father died of cancer in 2012 and this elegy was tough to write.


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