We leave thirty minutes later 
than we meant to,
as per usual,
but the air is still cool.

Soft wind tosses my shirt
and goosebumps pop up on my arms.

But once my feet begin to pound the pavement,
slightly slower than the rate my heart is going,
I warm up.

At around mile one,
a stitch makes itself known
on my right side
and at mile two I begin to dry heave.

Is it wrong to push through the pain?

I see a
chalk design in front of the court house
and I couldn’t agree more.

My father’s steady pace keeps me in check
and his silent companionship is a blessing.
It is what keeps me going until we get to stop
and walk back home.