My early morning walk at 6 a.m.
The sun ascends over the dark trees
and the houses with their fences.
I want to tell you I’m happy.
Hard as that is to believe of anybody.
I know when I was miserable
I thought happy people were stupid.
They were ignoring the world of pain
and the pain that exists in the world.
Now I think just the opposite.
I was ignoring all the good.
But being happy is still new to me.
I nearly can’t believe I’ve gotten here.
I like to walk at a crisp natural pace.
In the army they made you march
each step in time with everyone else.
The guy at the front kept the pace
and invariably he was too short or tall.
His pacing would mess with my gait,
make my steps stutter, knees ache.
I guess that’s why so many people
cannot find the happiness they want.
As we soldiers walked at another’s pace
they’re trying to win another’s happiness,
a limping happiness not their own.
Me, I’ve you, our daughter, and enough.
Though it’s also nice to be walking
under this sky that bathes in fireworks
coffee drinkers defrosting gray cars
that pull out quickly into the street,
merge into the slow flow of traffic.
Photo by Paul Slade (October 25, 2010)