THE ORDER OF THINGS
First to be born, to bleed, to kiss,
to leave – myself the one
to lead the way, taking
care of mother’s little one.
Young, the few years between us
a chasm. The gap closing,
blurred by time gone by.
Now, widened again, measured
in how far ahead she is
on this steep mountain path.
Still fragile in look, when
did she grow sturdy and her pace
quicken – and when was the moment
I began to slow?
I catch a glimpse of her
up ahead where the path curves,
her voice drifting back
as she talks to the trees.
Lilted, and not entirely of this world –
like smoke or a kite taken flight,
its tail and broken string trailing.
To hold her, I could leaden her step,
stitch stones to her shadow.
Sunshine burns away the early mist.
Every now and then she stops
– just as I once did –
and, smiling, waits for me
to catch up.