You’d think more people in the Happiest Place
On Earth would have knocked themselves out
trying to keep him from spilling into the lake
or crashing into the 1950s diner, but not at all.
My mother, of all people, ran with souvenirs
falling out of plastic bags, knocking Canadians
out of the way as she chased my little brother
with his arms and legs flailing like streamers
on the handlebars of an old tricycle – and I felt
horrible that I laughed as he yelled, “Help me!
I’m rolling!” I wanted to tell everyone it’s okay
to laugh – that he really wasn’t a little paraplegic
twelve year-old – he was sick, his head stuffed
from blooming flowers and the clouds of pollen
that are common during Florida’s February.
He no longer had the strength to walk to each ride,
so my parents had the idea to rent a wheelchair.
Not only did he get a ride, we had a shopping cart
to carry around our plastic swords and cold drinks.
When I caught up to my mother, she was sitting
on a bench, breathless, with the wheelchair at her
side, tears drying on my brother’s face. My father
walked out of a store, unaware, with a brown fedora.
“Just like Indiana Jones!” he said proudly, pointing
at his new hat. My mother looked up with her cheeks
reddening and fresh sweat falling down her forehead,
managed to barely gasp out, “Yes, just like him.”