He's burning to tell me
but his words can't leave fast enough.
It's something I share
with my three-year-old kinsman.
"I got hurt, Michael.
I was running and fell."
Even through the miles
I can hear his fettered thinking
and wince at lines of anguish
forming on his brow.
"I scraped my knee and my chin."
He's rubbing at least one of them.
Our father reclaims the telephone
to clarify the message.
"The girls track team was running laps
around the lake where we were fishing.
He took off after them with his little legs
and somehow got to the head of the pack.
It was amazing," the proud parent beams audibly.
But Newton and Murphy caught up with the kid.
His triumph was short-lived.
Those ladies were going for distance; not speed.
They're smarter than that.
He'll learn this again when the stakes matter more.
He'll find his own limits; be his own man.
Even big brothers can't cushion those blows
though damned I shall be if I don't try regardless.
"The Bear Went Over the Mountain" by Lester Grau.