• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 07
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The road was long.
Each step I took
You took one more.
Your hand always in mine,
Your steps echoed mine.
We skipped light,
Glancing off uneven
Pathways like shallow
Water tumbling over
Glistening cold rocks.

Our braided arms swayed
Like a rope swinging
From an oak bough.
Only when a sullen sun
Dissolved like a lemon
Drop on the city’s tongue
Did our bodies turn to lead,
Our eyes catch shadows
That stole catlike to our door.

I gather you into my lap.
You lean into the soft harbor
From which you swam
Shedding fins and gills
For lungs, arms, and legs
To walk dirt and cobblestone
Roads, to fold damp blades
Of meadow grass, to dig
Your toes in the thick of carpets,
To patter-dance on wooden boards.



Beside me a basin, a cloth,
In tepid water, each bare foot
Sinks to the ankle. I cup and pour
Droplets. They dance and ping
On the surface of the pool.
My hand breaks the water’s calm.
I dip your foot to cool the burn,
To soothe the ache of tiny steps
Taken in my weary wake.
Now I bathe, I tend the child,
Who one day must walk alone.