Close-up shot of a puddle reflecting pink and blue sunlight.

My toddler in the backpack,
we have the world,
or at least the next few miles,
to ourselves. I pass the same tree
as last week, but today, it is new to him,
pink blossoms soft to the touch.
He swings from side to side,

adding a strain I don’t mind,
bursting from his seat
the way roadside flowers announce the spring.
He sees how cherry plums do not wait
for old leaves to decompose, how life
can be perfect in its impatience this way.
From the time we start

to when we finish, we, too,
will have moved through a whole
season of ourselves.
I tilt him over a puddle
from last night’s rain,
his reflection wavering,
the sky beyond it.
It won’t make sense just yet,

but, when older,
I’ll explain how worlds can mesh,
how, when we inspect a violet bloom,
it’s also discovering us,
like a crow in the treetop,
looking down from above
as we look up from below,
connected by a cold morning walk.


Photo by Chandler Cruttenden, used and adapted under CC.