I arrived in late June with a wheelchair,
and it took a vicious bite out of your leg
on one of our first walks out- the uneven
sidewalk and curb conspired. 
I didn’t know your own surgeries made it hard
 to lift me or maneuver my chair.

The goal was for me to be able to walk
by the time school started, so you
encouraged me to try more on the crutches.
The casts only reached my ankles now,
so you bought me jaunty blue sneakers,
with rainbows.

The last casts were removable-
you took them off my withered legs 
and slid me into your friend’s backyard pool.
It felt so amazing to stand in the water,
to move my legs and really kick.
I didn’t know you never really learned to swim, until then.

I thought the shoes didn’t go with my dress,
but they did allow me to walk to church with Pops.
For some reason, you stayed home
and were so proud I had “gone all that way,”
I am not sure he told you he carried me for most of it.