Step On a Crack

Line after line in the sidewalk,

That’s all I could see.

Other kids would jump around, leap past me, bent over in my periphery

Grabbing at roly polies.

But not me,

So careful was I, watching the lines. Watching the cracks in the pavement.

Step on a crack break your mother’s back!

All it took was to hear it once, and to think that perhaps I caused her pain.

I  remember always, mom’s aching back

Now, even as an adult,

When I walk, 

If I step on a crack,

My focus broken for a simple moment,

I freeze.

I think what did I do,

Have I caused her pain, and even if I haven’t caused it, might I fix it?