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.