When I am an old woman, thin white crazy hair like whispers, I will wear electric green. Today I walk in the woods—your smallish calloused hand in mine. You say someday you’ll live here. In a cave. I will visit you and bring berries.
Long before you were here, we ran wild deep into the trees, and cut willow whips and made critter traps with pocketknives and hatchets. We skateboarded home, poison ivy all up our arms, tadpoles in hand, helmet-less. We piled into old 8-track tape rust wagons, small brown limbs and inner tubes everywhere, no seatbelts, no sunscreen. Heads out of windows like pups licking air.
You are amazed.
But we did not crash. We did not die.
Don’t use your teeth, you will crack them, I say. Wash your hands. Don’t fall. Don’t throw rocks. Zip up. Watch your thumb. Check for ticks. Don’t poke your eye out.
Today we laugh, you say, mouths open wide. Today we climb the highest tree, higher than any squirrel, and lean our bare backs against the bark. And listen for waxwings. Way up there. Today and tomorrow we do not care.
You say great ideas come from great walks.
And just like that you have changed me.