My Paces

I take my self for walks, 
in the absence 
of a dog. 

No brown, white, black or piebald 
attendant at my wrist  
lunging in fan shapes 
like an untrained 

I walk by the rules: 
one foot in front 
of the other, no 
dawdling, mind 
the potholes. 
In the playground’s din  
my hindbrain stirs, 
remembering rote sways— 
arms extended at the swings 
pumping children into pendulums. 

My steps become the drone 
of a metronome—a stroller 
thudding over sidewalk ruts.

I move through the crosswalk,
with my womb
like there’s still something in it.	

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