Bloody Footprints

What bloody footprints
What pain and misery
What tenderness and heartache
What joy and jubilation
What sickness and despair
What falling and what grace
What resentment and what gratitude
What loneliness, what fellowship
What anguish and what ecstasy
What hope and what dejection
What kindness and what cruelty
What passion and disappointment
What friendlessness and grief
What fascination and what boredom
What vindictiveness and mercy
What regret and exultation
What fellowship and friendlessness
What vengeance and forgiveness
What hurt and recompense
What longing and fulfillment
What clarity and paradox
What certainty, what doubt
What lies and lucid honesty
What pessimism and desperation
What hope and wishful wonder
What Stürm und Drang, what placid days
What dejection, what delight
What contradictions and consistencies
What bloody, bloody footprints
What very bloody footprints
Within the human heart.

David Blumenfeld (a.k.a. Dean Flowerfield) is a former philosophy professor and associate dean who in retirement returned to writing stories, children’s literature, and poetry after a sixty-year hiatus. A story of his received a “notable essay” citation in The Best American Essays, 2022; he has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize; and one of his poems was highly commended in the 2023 Autumn Voices poetry contest and reprinted in Five Points. His work appears in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies. Read other articles by David.