The Way We Walk

Once, walking through the forest where the Bayan Tree Plaza stands today,
I stepped on a branch with a thorn so long and strong
it penetrated the sole of my sneakers and drew much blood.

Once, diving off a wooden bridge near the lighthouse at Hana,
I came up stepping on an aged Wana, one long black spine breaking off in my foot,
a little bit of sea urchin living with me until it finally disappeared years later.

Once, kicking at a rainbow spray of glittering broken glass in the Queen’s Surf parking lot,
my slipper caught on the asphalt and a bare big toe shot forward unprotected,
sliced open to the bone in a bloody glorious spray.

I did all these and more when I was young,
before I carried more weight,
before I carried more worry around,
a shoulder-slung and hunching sack of coal to burn in winter.

The young step everywhere they go so much more lightly.

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