We learned to walk on ice.
To see it when it seemed not there.
To put one foot carefully down
Heel first
Holding our ground
stepping deliberately.
Not fearless
Like the young ones rushing past us
Humbled by wisdom
One misstep
Could bring us down
Broken bones
Cracked skull
What do they know
What lies ahead?

Careful but undaunted
We got there
Where we were headed
Slowly
Catching one another at the slips
though we could both crash
Without warning
Into a broken heap.

We learned to walk on ice
In all of its terrifying manifestations
We pulled our scarves close
to warm our breath
before it could freeze lungs
Unaccustomed to its frigid sting
And when the path was too narrow
To walk side by side
We walked single file
Close enough to be shadows
I grabbed your coat as my boots began to sail
You stepped gingerly
We got where we were going
In one piece
We learned to walk on ice
Together.

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