by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Our children are so soft, we imprint them
like a heavy sole stepping into mud
not breaking the ground but reordering
its elements, the way it will hitherto
hold water, light, the curious nose of wind
and voice of earth. Even when later rain
smoothes out that patina something of the mark
holds. Even when sunlight whips the wetness
to its pools of night and the stiffened ground
wears its shelled-out grooves, when these deepen
in each punching hail and hollowing storm
the pattern may be nothing like the original
print but art in its own way, no trace of boot
apparent in the striving clay.