WHERE I WORE BELLS
I take after my father. Always running
ahead of those I love.
The only time I remember us walking
side by side was in the Rockies
where I wore bells to keep
the bears away.
Words keep bears at a distance,
the guide said, but bells will do
if you remember to jingle.
Your jingling is too jangling, you joked,
as we hiked toward the teahouse at the mountaintop.
So I put the bells back in my pocket,
and we held hands—all those years,
the two of us,
chancing the danger