Fading Prints

Oh, how upset I was with you
When I first saw those muddy handprints
Wiped on the front of our house!
I am sure I scolded you
And said you needed to clean them off.
'What a mess!' I said,
And shook my head at you and Andy,
Both of you covered in mud from your head to your toes.
It was an early winter thaw,
And the two of you just had to have a mud 'fight' to celebrate.
'Teens,' I remember grumbling,
And promised myself that I would not clean up after you,
Now that you were sixteen.

How glad I am now that you never got around to washing them off!
For you left us only a few weeks later,
So unexpectedly.
Today I would never dream of removing such tangible evidence
That you lived and laughed and loved here,
In this very house,
And my heart leaps up each time I see them.

Your handprints are on my heart, too,
But these are signs that the whole world can see,
And they speak volumes.
Sadly, time is slowly eroding them,
And they are but ghostly images now.
But still they cling!
Fearing they might someday disappear completely,
I recorded them with my camera
And posted them here for all to see - -
Ghostly remnants of a warm winter's day
More than five years ago,
But forever alive in my heart.

Written for Robbie with love,

Copyright 2005 by Saralyn McAfee Smith,
unless permission is given to copy.

In loving memory of Robert Hampton Smith, 09/08/83 ~ 03/15/00