A ten-minute frolic, a morning interlude of
squeals and wobbles, mother and daughter
pursuing an age-old quest of mastery on
the day we remember our war dead.
I pause in my yard work, lean on my pushbroom,
this snapshot in time collapsing into time past,
me with a firm grip on my daughter’s tiny seat
leading and guiding from behind, ever forward.
And the cascade continues, in free-fall now to
my own father, setting me free and thinking me able
as I glide toward a parked car, failing the turn and
bound for the emergency room with a broken arm.
Not everything works out as hoped, a lesson
etched into the very brows of parents grieving
still on this day, their children lost to war, the
triumph of their first bike ride now unto dust.
Balance in all things, goes the old maxim,
body and brain a holy first essential, the
child from sitting to standing, walking to
running to wheeling, set forth upon the world.
And when that world gives the child back,
its parents numb and stunned in their grief,
what then of balance and natural order,
sweetness of memory and the stories it recalls?
And still I smile, broadly, at this mother on this day,
as I would on any day, her helmeted daughter precious
and enfolded in her arms, the palpitations of the child’s heart
a precursor, I fervently hope, of joys and gladness yet to come.
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Deep appreciation to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.
Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at top of page.
Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Balancing stones by Simona https://www.flickr.com/photos/mammaoca2008/
Fun version of this well-aged classic…