Cracks

When I was young, I had your back

by uneven steps on the sidewalk.

I stopped paying attention.

I had destinations.

Oh, your broken back.

 

The dandelions pushed through

to see if I would look down.

I kicked the buds off their bases.

The cement was mine and I

didn’t notice the shin splints.

 

The wheels turned.

Skateboards and bicycles

sent bumps up my discs.

I got off the walk

by borrowing your car.

 

I left you by the side of the road.

I was center lined and selfish.

Things were said, better off dead.

Your broken back.

Your broken heart.

 

I’ve seen my kids stutter step

down the walk protecting

a spine of a mother kind.

They look down

while clasping her hand.

 

Their mom wants them to look up…

to watch were they are going.

But I hope their hindsight

serves to see the curved

back they once protected.

 

 

Written for my mother, who stuck with me even when I stepped on cracks.

 

© Gerald Allen Barrett and parentheticallyspeakingin3d, 2012.

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