Fear and Gravity

A young boy of about 12 lean years,
ran down the driveway
and with arms outstretched for balance,
slid across narrow panes of ice
covering the shallow furrows worn into its surface.

My head is down,
waddling towards the car,
inspecting every step for hints
of calamity lurking
between the bricks,
urging me to fall
like an old oak in a storm.

“Careful - it’s slippery” I said to him,
and at once recognized and regretted
the words for what they were:
a greeting of caution shared by
one middle-aged person with another,
an acknowledgement
that love and regret,
life and loss,
have over years added weight
to our spirits,
making us mindful
of the countless harms
that mortal flesh and weary souls
are heir to.

Knowing they had no business
with the ears of this boy
my words
fell into the snow,
leaving him to glide along,
free from fear and gravity.

Copyright 2019 by C. Max Schenk - all rights reserved, or at least cautiously guarded