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Foster’s “Footprints in the Snow”



In 1983, Dongieux Foster found himself recalling some of the darkest days of his life. The soldier had faced death many times in his life, but the inspiration for the following poem was “much worse than death” to Foster. 

He said, “Sometime in everyone’s life they experience a tragic event and tragedies affect everyone differently. When we lose something very dear to us and no matter how we search, we know we will never be able to find it. So we have to continue down life’s highway with the emptiness never being filled.”




I opened my eyes this cold wintry morning

there was a cold empty bed beside me

I smelled no bacon frying nor coffee brewing

I washed my face and cleared my eyes to see

I searched each room and then outside

around the house as the wind began to blow

with a fearful heart I continue to search on

then I saw the fresh footprints in the snow

I trailed the footprints through the snow

down the driveway to the road it seemed

they ended beside the tire tracts on the road

there was no struggle and no one screamed

the tire tracks continued on down the road

toward a town some twenty miles away

I followed those tracks in the new fallen snow

weary and cold I reached the town that day

still I searched streets and alleys all the same

door to door and all the places she might be

and still I search on till day turned to night

till I grew to weary to walk and to tired to see

soon my tired steps turned toward home

I arrived to find it was nothing but a shell

no one in the house singing a melody

or picking wild flowers along the trail

with an empty heart and troubled mind

I walked the floor up and down till dark

could it be for something I had done

what could it be that could drive us apart

I cried and cried the tears would not stop

could she have found someone new

could it be her love for me had died

or she never had a love that was true

so many troubled thoughts filled my mind

Is it possible she did not know I loved her so

or did she think her life so dull and empty

that the only choice she had was to go

my eyes closed but sleep would not come

my pillow wet with all the tears I had shed

could this be my lonely’ life’s destiny

to lay each night an empty shell in my bed

I guess I will never really know why

the choice I have is to do the best I can

until that day the heavens may open wide

and I catch a miracle and find my love again


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