A country walk through the city

by lassymac

Toddling with my daughter
transforms the landscape of the city—
it stretches sidewalks like chewing gum
as every step forward is
four tiny steps back.

It makes dirty things sparkle,
things that live in the cracks,
things that fell off telephone poles,
things stuck to the underbellies
of picnic tables;

the discarded,
upcycled in her
head, made beautiful
by crude innocence,

made pure by her sticky hands.

Meanwhile,
pictures from her picture books
begin circling—

Dog!
Squirrel!
Bicycle!
Car!

and then,

Birds! Birds! Birds!

I look down as she looks up;
we each see the most miraculous thing.

Once the birds disappear
behind some dilapidated building—
the foetus of yet another condo—
we continue our daily trek,
stepping on all the cracks

her gait too small to protect my
aging back
her mind far too big to worry about
such things.