We laugh about it now, remembering the time-
hiking in the Smoky Mountains to the little falls
tucked away on a ridge behind rhododendrons,
laurels, moss covered rocks, and crooked pines.
It’s the trail where we saw the salamanders, snails,
and where a nervous black bear saw the two of us.
You needed to get back to the parking lot, to use
the restroom on a hill at the edge of the parking lot.
You insisted on running, you were warned to stop.
I called out to you, but you kept going, feeling it
worth the risk, you looked fleet of foot on the path,
a mini Davy Crockett, a modern day Daniel Boone.
It was all good until your toe stubbed one of the roots
or jagged rocks and it sent you flying for a moment
before you landed on all fours and began to cry pitifully.
Scraped palms and knees, not the last time, for sure.
“It could have been worse”, is what my father said.
And it was enough to make you listen, to slow you down.