I used to think that cleanliness was paramount.
That dust and tiny spiderwebs had no place at home.
And amidst these untidy nuisances were fingerprints
On every glass surface within easy reach.
Fingerprints of a young child busily investigating
A rapidly expanding world which, for the moment,
Is confined to a level barely above an adult’s waist.
Those fingerprints define the child’s yearning.
The exploration of things tactile, intriguing and new.
They are the remnants of a wondrous inquisitiveness
That passes too quickly and ages into passivity.
And so I shall leave the fingerprints as they are.
As heartwarming reminders of a child who once played here
And discovered amazing new worlds and realms
And marvelous contraptions
Which evoked squeals of laughter and delight
And brought many smiles and happy memories
To an old man who can now find
Contentment among a few specks of dust
An occasional spiderweb
And the fingerprints of a searching child.