Marvin Lurie

Footprints (Australopithecus Afarensis)

You who were not yet us,
who shared this upright conceit,
who left these footprints in mud that dried to stone
more years ago than history,
what were you thinking,
that your view to the horizon was mastery –
that you could envision a future –
that your children would outlive you?
If you bequeathed these thoughts to us, they endured.
We used them for certain things, some of them good.
Now we chip at ancient rock, 

name fragments of ancestors, try to uncover the line
that tells our descent from you.
Our horizon is the sky, our immortality
bright metal with writings we send toward the stars
looking for others,
looking for the place where our footprints might survive
for an unimaginable 
future
when time has swallowed us too.

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