Monday, December 5, 2011

Safe arrival

A mother watches
as the child's journey begins,
again, and again:
a hand to hold
for those first steps,
and then a lunch
for that first long day at school.
We teach them how to pack
and how to read a map;
we teach them what to trust
and what to avoid
and send them on their way
into the world...

Where will they go?
And how will they travel --
by boat or by plane,
couch-surfing or camping,
hostels or hotels...
exploring one area
or covering lots of ground --
all those choices to be made
will be theirs to make.
And a mother watches,
from a distance now,
never far from the phone,
always a little on tiptoe,
the hand outstretched,
the breath, caught,
then calmed again
by word of safe arrival.

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