Ode to Footnotes by Nita Andrews

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

I revere footnotes

They are Matthew Chapter One—the begetting passage--

The list of names no one can pronounce --- names given –

It reads like a footnote!

Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

So no one reads footnotes or genealogies – certainly not by candlelight on Christmas Eve- even if Jesus was the begotten one.

Footnotes are begetters of new ideas. After the prose tapers off footnotes take my hand and lead me through dense and mysterious vines.

They bring maps pointing in all directions for our trek.

Footnotes –

Oh how they weave paths of OCD insanity-- citing “out of print” authors, dead poets

--quotations printed in obsolete journals

I revere footnotes-- superscript order gives me chills.

These compressed lines of provenance--

lead me outside when a 36 point headline tells me to stay home. I can smell

small fires of ideas that camp on the outskirts of the footnotes on a page.

Strunk and White must have loved panning for research gold as much as I do.


-- the linking and co-habitating of reference materials- all kinds--unable to resist begetting

wild offspring. . . citations on index cards-- lined up like kids in car seats

Thank you for giving the author credit. and including


page numbers and publishers.

I ask one favor—

Oh, life hiding out in the smallest of lines. Overlooked. Find me. Take me outside

Beget newness in me. Let me learn something new.

Let me write something new.

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