Craig W. Steeleó for my children
Soon after you both could walk unaided, I began mowing
paths through our backfield and within the copse
of maple, hickory and crab apple garnishing it.
Without such avenues chewed open by a ravening John Deere,
palisades of reedy goldenrods and bright green bayonets
of Timothy grass grew so tall, so thick by early summer that
strolling through them was like trudging through
entangling seaweeds along the bottom of a viscous ocean.
We shared many adventures, made many memories
treading those paths together. But lately
Iíve been thinking: Once youíre both grown and
gone, Iíll stop mowing the paths.
Yet I wondered, was I truly ready to
surrender life to memories?
So one day, while you both were indoors busy
being teens, I ventured on a solo walk.
I ambled along every inch of every path, savoring
my newfound alone time, marveling anew at old favorite
sights, finding new unidentified flowers and bugs
Iíd not yet not identified.
Afterwards I knew, without a mote of doubt,
once you both have traveled past me
on your journeys, Iíll most definitely
let the paths grow shut.
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