POETRY: I am the sidewalk

By: Emily Cook

I am the sidewalk.

Hard to believe I’m sure. But trust me when I say that every day I watch hundreds of people step all over me.

By: EMILY COOK

I am the sidewalk.

Hard to believe I’m sure. But trust me when I say that every day I watch hundreds of people step all over me.

Still not convinced? I’m silent. My body meets with the walls of shop fronts and my hands sometimes stretch out to the curb of the street.

You think I’m dirty. You think that these scars that line my wrinkled surface are my fault and my burden to bear. Truth is, most of these scars are here because of you.

You tripped on one of my crevices, noticing me for the first time. And instead of listening to me as I waved and cried out to tell you how deep the crevice really went, you simply redid my surface. You couldn’t understand that crevice will resurface someday; the roots run deeper than you care to see.

In the winter snow settles on me, but still you don’t care to keep me company. Am I threatening to you? All I am is part of this city, part of this framework, and part of your world. Does that frighten you?

Maybe it’s scary for you to think that there are still dents and cracks in this perfect city. Maybe you wish I would disappear and become part of the smooth, newly paved city streets that everyone else travels on.

Or maybe you worry I’ll realize I’m not a sidewalk at all.

Forgive me for being so slow to realize, but it’s easy for eyes and ears to be lost in the brick wall behind when no person has ever acknowledged that they exist.

It’s easy to believe I have no voice when every time I speak other voices get louder as if to drown me out.

I am a person.

At least I think I am. My heart beats the same as theirs. I have hopes and dreams like them. I have a soul.

I can be a mother, father, friend, sister, brother. So why is it that all you can see are the tattered clothes on my back? Do you think I am any less human than you?

It might be easier to just melt back into the sidewalk. But instead, I’ll choose to believe that we are the same, and if I’ve chosen to see us that way, then maybe someday you will too.

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