I remember walking fast
to keep up with my sister,
my quick chicken steps
two or three to her one.

Now my sister cannot walk
at all. She holds my arm,
I move so slowly I almost
lose my balance,
realizing how fragile
we really are,
feeling her dwindling flesh,
the terrible angle of her bones,
walking for the moment in
her world, wobbly as jello
without fruit.
Skin to skin.
It all changes
with time.

I walk with my father
through his pasture,
he shows me
where his ponies grazed
as he pulls up iris bulbs
for me to take home.
His gait, too, has changed
Capable still, and strong
but slower and more calm.
It is only the sound
of my high heel shoes
on his floor,
the even confidence
I can hear
in the rhythm
of my walk,
that tells me
I am old enough now
to know who I am,
to decide for myself.