How She Loved Me

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How She Loved Me

After she broke her neck, the diagnosis advised her to

avoid all moving when she could.

Once she agreed, three vertebrae were fused together,

and a cushion braced her instead of us.

We were not allowed.

Days passed. Weeks passed. Maybe three.

She sat in her chair and rocked and rocked

and rocked – until the hinges snapped, too.

The repairman repeated those two words:

Don’t. Move.

I avoided her after that – ran right past her when I could –

let my legs leap and fly and bend and breathe.

But even my knees knew how she watched,

how she waited for me to look.

I only did once.

On the day the sky became a lake,

she walked onto the deck like a dock,

threaded the wind with her fingers,

rose her chest when she breathed,

and bounced onto the trampoline.

She stretched and sprung and skipped into a flip

only stopping to giggle about her favorite rollercoasters.

And I stood still to listen.

I stood still and watched.

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