Falling Down Hard - Poem by Fred Odom
Falling down hard is not difficult…
When you least expect it.
Some time ago if memory serves,
I was attempting a demonstration how easy
A scooter was to operate to my son.
Although, as a teacher I was experienced as
A lion tamer’s first introduction to lions.
Having never actually ridden one,
I believed that toys for children
Were as dangerous as the card game of ‘War.’
I was half right.
I started out tentatively with modest trepidation
Attempting direction control while maintaining balance.
In a moment of exaggerated self assurance
Called out to him to watch
How easy it was to “jump a crack in the sidewalk.”
I remember crouching down a bit
Then pulling myself up quickly as I also pulled up on the handlebars.
For a brief but unsettling moment
I saw nothing but blue sky
That previously had been overhead
But now in my direct view,
Before… before everything went black
Immediately after hearing an unsettling ‘Whump! ’
Sprawled on the sidewalk, arms and legs extended out
As if…as if skydiving. I groaned, “everything hurts’’
That could not be heard over laughter emanating from my son,
As though he’d seen a cartoon occur in real life.
When I realized I could move,
I slowly… very slowly rose to my feet. And with a stern voice
Weakly said, “…and that’s why you should always
Wear padding and a helmet.”
And so it is with life’s moments that cause pain.
If we can see through the pain
Or through the laughter from others at our expense,
They’re remembered. And with time… learned from.
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