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11 June 2014

sand and glass

Human footprints in the sand
perhaps the trail of a woman
who is playing and hiding,
waiting to be found and suppressing
a giggle as her lover follows
the tracks in the sand.

Footprints in the sand as a travesty
or the final clues of a missing child
last seen in swim clothes and
carrying a red beach ball
and frolicking in the waves.

Footprints in the sand as a puzzle,
perhaps tracks observed by tourists
who believed they were alone
at this beachfront villa
and now wonder with whom
they must share their solitude.

Footprints like braille or hieroglyphics,
semiotic injunctions on the empty soul,
messages without grammar but overflowing
with all possible meanings.

And within these footprints exist the seeds of glass,
the raw materials from which
some faceless corporation will build
widows for houses and cars.

The sand will be gathered,
heated, transformed, forever changed,
until the footprints in the sand will become
a window from which future generations
will watch their children play
or their spouses come home from war
or sunsets or approaching storms.

The sand-made-window will offer
more readings and signs,
give more clues and provide
for more things to observe.
But it will also separate people,
throw up a shield between the inside and the out,
which has since sand was first transformed
to glass been the secret agenda
of all our windows.

RR Shea

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