impermanent impression 

Sam was getting taller every day, he thought. She’s racing her shadow while the sun marked time.

Terry brought his daughter, his whole family really, on this trip June 15 through the 21st annually without fail. Sometimes the kids missed the last few days of school but he didn’t care. They could learn more in a week on the road than during ‘clean-up week’ as their teachers called it. Next year, there might be a snag when Paul graduates from 8th grade. Right now, he reflected, right now it’s just us and this mountain right here.

So they stood there – Terry and Sam – and they watched the rock grow. I can feel it, Dad. I can feel the still. It’s like a deep breath and waiting. She was only six but that’s how she talked and that’s why he adored her. Paul was more his mother’s son. He liked the city and the streets, the cars and bright lights. Terry lost him to that artificial glow. But he could hold on to Sam. Looking at the gray and ragged face of stone, he wondered. How long do we stand before our image is burned into its surface? How long before our footprints let someone know we were here?

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