I’ve stumbled on
a home-made movie
stands tall behind a treadmill
and his five-year old
jogging happily below his craved approval
beaming as she learns her first bad habit.
“Watch this,” Dad says as he speeds treadmill up
then slows—speeds up again with rapid changes
as she sprints, then walks and loses balance as the pace is changed
but regains poise without a stumble
keeping up with pride.
Dad is delighted, proud of what she’s learned.
I want her off of that machine
onto the grass and trees
let her feel free
wind in her hair un-fan blown
sun—no artificial lights
and please God . . . Father
without cell phone
just one early moment in her life
beyond the call of electricity and metal.
only time in motion
without goals, logged minutes—distance charted
hours spent on treadmills.
Let her find that for herself