Daily Prompt: Careful

I’ve spent most of my life being cautious,
I never once thought being carefree
could be the right way to spend some days.
but there was one day, an hour
north of Rome,
where I walked along a
cobblestone street, hopelessly
lost in a place I did not know,
searching for a beach I could
not see with an excitement
I did not expect.

it’s not often I find myself
lost, unaware of my surroundings –
and, quite frankly a little
but this one day I wasn’t
scared or worried or anxious.
I was just carefree.
and yes, careful, always careful – no
person would ruin my day, no sun would burn
my back and no pot hole would twist
my ankle
(because lord knows that
would happen to me).

the breeze was warm and
my skin tingled with the heat,
the only sign of my exhaustion
the perspiration running down my spine –
the drip drip drip of water leaking
out a faucet
to my right pulling my gaze.
the ocean was right through those
houses – I
could see it, I could
almost feel the water on my skin,
running its hands along me
like the boy I left back home.

the cobblestone stretched on
and on. I could feel
the irritation bubbling under
my feet, traveling up my calves
– and oh how my calves burned!
I took in a deep breath,
it smelled of lilac and
my mother’s laughter,
a smile stretching across my face,
I walked a little lighter.
only a short distance

at long last it unfolded in
front of me –
a sea of blue, of summer,
of peace. my bags were on the ground,
my dress a jumble on top,
and my feet were pulling me
to the water.
crystal, clear, warm. so
salty you could float. I couldn’t
remember the last time
I was so happy.

if I wasn’t careful, I
might’ve drifted out to
sea. but
I was careful. always careful.


via Daily Prompt: Careful