Written by James Paterson

We ran together, my son and I,
in the uninhabited (except for us) early morning.
The trail was pine needles, soft and silent,
springy as we dance a rapid, choreographed step dance
over veiny roots and rocks—
heads jerking from near misses
beneath leaning tree limbs.

He is a quiet runner, elegant with no embellishment.
Effortless and clean.
I watch his feet, follow his lead
in where to place my foot next,
building a rhythm of quick twitch footfalls
in the sun-slanting light of this path that goes on and on and again.

We pause in the still fresh morning air at the head of the lake
where the water breaches a small dam.
He wonders aloud if we’ll see any trout.
And as I turn again to run
I see movement,
one idling
in a foot of water, maybe more, still and cold.

I point, “there in that circle of sunlight, just below the other log.”
“Speckled Trout,” he says. “Such beautiful fish.”
We are back at the car too soon
for the time I want to spend with him.
Enough words to stay connected but nothing that adds weight.

I still hear things when I run
that render my reduced dreams worthwhile.

And we talked about God on the drive home.