Robbie Peterson

I remember a vacation to the Grand Canyon.

I was seven years old.

We were hiking around the basin.

I was lagging behind. Complaining, probably.

I looked up.

That was when I saw the man fall from the sky.

I pulled my mother's arm, pointing upwards.

She looked, gasped, screamed.

My father saw, too, and his eyes grew wide.

I was so young, I didn't know why they did this.

I was laughing.

He reminded me of a cartoon character.

Yosemite Sam or Wylie Coyote

When they run over the edge of a cliff,

then look down and fall.

I didn't quite get the concept of death then.

But now I do.

And I remember so clearly

the crack of his body

as it smashed into the ground

and his life ended.

My mother screamed again and cried.

My father retched and bent over.

And I kept laughing.