You took me down a narrow path. It was my first
awareness of both shade and forest, strapped
in a seat on the back of your bike.
We fell, but if it hurt I don’t remember. It’s the joy
of being with you that stays in my mind.
I know we teach our sons the things we love, the invisible
paths of golf balls through the air, cue balls on a field
of orange felt, or long, high, home run balls flying
through warm summer air as we sat watching from the
upper deck overhang.
I don’t remember when you took me down the driveway
for the first time, or the trails our skis left in the snow
the day you did that. I remember trailing you
much later, down snowy slopes.
This is the path that I followed, the path you
started even when it took me places
you would not go. My sons have walked through
rain, mosquitoes, dust, and mud on islands
and in forests, sleeping on the ground The path I followed
driving in the winter morning darkness
with two quiet boys holding sleepy conversations
in the back seat on the way to soccer games. The things
we love are almost never things.
The path I follow now, not knowing where it goes
but knowing always that the best part is who we are with.
Ahead of me, you showed me how to be a father
and when you lead the way, you brought my sons along.