This week, my better half is on the other side of the world for work, and my mother has come to keep us company. That hasn’t left much time for reading, but it did remind me of this poem. I’ve loved it for years, but I understand it now in a way I never imagined. It just burns at my heart.

To a daughter leaving home, Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

 

(I’ll be back in two weeks with a proper review, but for now, time must be spent with a few of my favorite people.)

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