Promise

in spring
in an open field
barefoot in the diamond dew of morning
we walk, our fingers locked
your little hand, mine bigger

silently, suddenly (what joan didion calls ‘the ordinary instant’)
a narrow stream of water appears between us
you on one side now
me on the other
bread and butter
our fingers locked
and warmed by the sun

we laugh at the wiggly-toe water
and then we keep walking
you on one side, me on the other
bread and butter

up ahead the stream widens
pushing us apart so that
our fingers no longer touch
what should we do?
you say jump over on my side!

but somehow I know I cannot
still reaching out for your little hand
I say you go on
I’ll catch up when I can
and I’ll watch you
even when you can’t see me

I promise

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