Footprints In the Snow – LindaAnn Lo Schiavo

It’s the same dream. It wakes me up each time.
Could it be some ghost family returned?

Asleep, strange shards of memory poke me
Like spikes. The walls are melancholy now
Since she slipped out that winter, calloused feet
Shoeless although it snowed for hours. Chills
Came creeping into corners by the stove
And stood behind me when I held a knife.

My neighbors said police checked mental wards,
All accident reports, and combed the woods.
They found no trace. Her husband sold the house.

Neglected properties need TLC,
Attract those good at caretaking. It’s strange
Quiet arrives in sudden blasts of cold,
Announcing it resists all ownership.

I don’t recognize my own fireplace.
Who cut this cord of wood, left embers, ash
Inside the pit? When I bend to smooth sheets,
I sense cool whispering. The window shines,
Reveals it snowed tonight and left fresh prints,
Small, delicate. The person was barefoot.

I am afraid to be responsible,
Afraid to be asked questions. Please, stay away.

LindaAnn-LoSchiavoLindaAnn LoSchiavo, who won Wax Poetry & Art’s poetry contest, has been published in Ink & Letters, Measure, Not Very Quiet, Flatbush Review, Windhover, and numerous anthologies. Her poetry chapbook Conflicted Excitement [Red Wolf Editions, 2018] and her collaborative book on prejudice [Macmillan in the USA, Aracne Editions in Italy] are her latest titles.