For her Twittering Tales prompt, Kat Myrman posted this photo.


I’ll try and come back to it and get a story out of it, but first, I’ll post the haibun that it inspired, with apologies to Kat for hijacking her photo.

Like footsteps in water is the trail we leave, that no one sees or remembers once the ripples have reached the shore. For years we walk and talk, shake hands, kiss cheeks, laugh and cry, share, we think, moments that will last forever. But when the time comes to walk away, the trail goes cold. Who remembers moments when there have been so many? The city is full of them, a firework display of sensations, shared and shouted, photographed and spread like butter across a million screens, before the avid or bored eyes of a multitude. Who will call after parting steps and ask to be remembered, to catch a line thrown out before the boat passes forever out of reach? I wonder sometimes, a little, but knowing the answer, I pat the head of a friendly dog, and tell myself, this is enough. Footsteps that lead away are too sad to remember anyway.


Rain fills the potholes

in the path. Later, birds bathe—

nothing is wasted.



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

9 thoughts on “Footprints”

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