I could walk across broken glass,
slice the red river Nile from heel to toe
and I’d apologize for leaving behind
bloody footprints on your hardwood floors.
I am all unnecessary guilt
and ritualistic fear.
I’ve been training for this moment my entire life.
I discovered my grandmother’s footprints.
I followed them through the house,
down the leftover fragments of sidewalk.
I waited in her long-gone shadow
for the crosswalk to shine silent permission.
I carried the sound of her voice on the tip of my thumb,
rubbed my finger across it,
like the needle point on her Singer sewing machine,
watched the blood bubble up.
perfect village gazing ball.
I saw her heart plucked from her chest,
watched her fade out –
a burnt wick at the end of a candle.
She didn’t even raise an eyebrow,
bat a lash.
They dropped her heart to the floor
and she asked their forgiveness for making such a mess.
© Laura A. Lord, 2020
Thank you to MindLoveMisery for their prompt.