Falling Together - Sandy Long Photos

When you,

without intention,

lay a small child to earth,

and she is suddenly displaced from the hold you had,

once—up in the air—filling your arms,

then instantly finding them bare;

when you look upon her face,

beginning to wrinkle into a curdling cry

at this indignity committed when your foot

entered that unseen hole and something snapped

inside the skin, then bulged within;

when you look upon her lying there,

fringed in forest turf,

back flat against a mat of moss,

and you feel with haste for evidence of impact,

then finding none but fear and its reverberations;

you finally breathe as you realize

that neither will expire,

that something saved you both

as it's done before and will again,

and given you one another,

bonded by the fall that could have drawn a greater claim,

but left you peering, each,

into the eyes of the other.

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