Thursday, August 24, 2017

Poetry Friday

Many friends are remembering their little ones these days--me too. 

Many thanks to Check it Out for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.
Gell, Mark. “Vintage Cycling Advertising.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 8 Dec. 2009,

To A Daughter Leaving Home

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

(c) Linda Pastan

Society, The Saturday Evening Post. “Gallery: Early Bicycle Advertisements.” The Saturday Evening Post, 10 Jan. 2017,


  1. I still remember when my dad taught me to ride a bike - it's such a special moment, as a child there's nothing quite as thrilling as the freedom that being able to ride a bike can bring!

  2. How perfect is that first poem? It seems to capture and roll my mothering and my childhood into one exquisite memory. Love it! (I did crash. And sailed over the corner of the neighbour's fence to land in a patch of bindi-eyes. No damage - just a zillion pin-prickles of pain.)

    1. The memories this poem evokes are so powerful. When my mother passed away I had flashbacks of her taking the training wheels off my bike and me just pedaling like crazy and her clapping. We let go with tears and joy all the time.

  3. This is a true poem, Linda - thank you! I don't remember learning to ride a bike (the crazy freedom for me came on horseback), but I do remember our boys learning. How they wobbled, and then they were rocketing! It goes by so fast, doesn't it? xo

  4. Wow, Linda - what a perfect poem to share. Raising a daughter flashed before my eyes - "more breakable/with distance." And yet now, she's such a strong adult! Your comment, "We let go with tears and joy all the time" is both heartbreaking and heartwarming - perfect. Thanks for sharing the Saturday Evening Post cover & poem, too - :0)

  5. Such a moving poem. So sad that school days are almost upon us again. Just a few lingering days of August left. I plan to soak up the memories.

  6. I've sent this poem to friends as they said their goodbyes. It touches the heart, makes me remember those goodbyes of years ago now. My daughter was happy that her girls had a great first day, but the youngest one, after the first day, went running into her room without saying goodbye. Fun for her, hard for Mom! Thanks, Linda, hugs to you, too!

  7. Oh yes, yes, yes! I can relate as my daughter headed back to college this week for her second year. It seems just like yesterday that she was wobbling down the lane on her bike for the first time. Now I sit back and watch her fly!

  8. Oh I love this poem--I remember reading it with tears when my younger one first went to college.

  9. Oh, my. Hair flapping behind you like a handkerchief waving good-bye...
    This was perfect.

  10. "the honors go to the girls who bike" -- huh! Now we know! Thanks for this poetic pairing, Linda. Such a perfect ending on the Pastan poem.

  11. Not the first time I read "To a Daughter Leaving Home" but it will never, never, never get old. Thank you for sharing it today, Linda. You've got me all verklempt. Next year is going to be hard, sending my oldest off to college, especially knowing my youngest is not far behind. First we have to get through college application season though!

  12. Linda, beside the poem the posters/illustrations caught my eye. Letting go is difficult because we want children to stay children for as long as we can hope for.

  13. Learning to ride a bike is one of my favorite memories of my Dad. Such a poignant moment when our children leave for college.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!