Sidewalk Broken

softly blown snow gives a false sense
of flatness to long-broken concrete slabs
being watched over by paneless windows
uneven footsteps herald an ancient relic
more forlorn than these vacant buildings
whose dark stares are felt longer than seen

guided by a life of walking ever changing paths
his feet bear him along with uncanny precision
over tiny handprints beneath a date scratched
in concrete freshly poured over a dirt trail
he had once followed shoeless to school
that many years later had led him off to war

now silent witnesses to his daily pilgrimage
that finally ends before a once majestic house
broken steps and boarded add to its sullen beauty
shaking hands lift a bottle to chapped broken lips
eyes burn as trembling with a chill not of the cold
he opens a door and steps inside

…..jerry Marks