The size of the Happisburgh footprints compared to a camera lens cap

The size of the Happisburgh footprints compared to a camera lens cap. Photograph: Martin Bates

A family group potters through a muddy estuary

gathering algae and shellfish

& links up to us 800,000 years later

when a fast-eroding stretch of beach reveals their steps.

And we wonder: Whose tracks are these!!

Just like Claire and I ask each other

when we find and follow prints in the snow.

While archaeologists rush to preserve the footsteps of those who came before,

I take pictures to follow one who’s come after.




One of the footprints which dates back around 800 000 years

One of the footprints, which dates back around 800,000 years [BRITISH MUSEUM]

6 thoughts on “Next time the Kids Track Muddy Footprints Through the House, Think on This. ( A 420 Character 9-Line Poem)

  1. Perhaps it is part of human nature to want to leave a mark, to have mattered, even if those old footprints never knew what excitement they would cause. Should we each ask: What will my “footprint” say about my life? What a (scary, amusing, serious, wishful) idea to contemplate!!!! M.


  2. Your little ones will surely leave their mark…. how can they miss with a guide and mentor such as you. We must trust that the work of caring, intelligent parents and grandparents bodes well for the future.


    1. Ronnie,
      I remember wishing that I had grandparents dropping in on a regular basis if only for us to bounce ideas around with. (Just to end the sentence with a preposition…)So, I don’t know if the kids feel this way, but it sure pleases me. It is so fun too this indulging of little kids.


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