How to Walk

Among the hardest walkers for me to watch are small children being hauled along by their wrists.  Parents tell me that this is sometimes necessary, but since I have never been a parent I would not know.  I do know that most of the adults doing the hauling do not mean to be unkind.  They are simply used to walking, while the child is not.  The child has only recently learned how to walk, so she still knows how.  She feels the heat radiating up from the sidewalk.  She hears the tapping of her shoes on the cement.  She sees the dime someone has dropped in the crosswalk, which she leans toward before being yanked upright again.  The child is so exposed to the earth that even an acorn underfoot world topple her, which may be why her adult is hanging on so tightly.  But the speed is too much for her.  Her arm is stretched so far it hurts.  She has to run where her adult walks, and if that adult is talking on a cell phone, then really, she might be better off in jail.

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