Pebbles by the Side of a Road

Kicking the pebbles
by the side of a road,
I’m suddenly aware
there is no place where
feet have never walked.

Seen from a hundred miles above,
the world is etched with a map of tangled scars,
each one a mark
that someone has left—
of someone who has left.

I stand in the footprints
of everyone who has ever been.
Forgive me, father—
Forgive me, grandfathers of grandfathers—
I cannot walk without
tripping over you.
I taste the soil that has
reabsorbed your days.
Days turn into weeks;
weeks turn into years;
years turn into pebbles by the side of a road.