(1932 - / New York / United States)

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
goodbye.

User Rating: 3,8 / 5 ( 57 votes ) 32

Other poems of PASTAN (25)

Comments (32)

I have no daughters or a daughter, I have three sons, when they left home one by one, I remember this too. The happiness to have succeeded to grow them to independency and men-to-be, each son at his time. I still can feel the sadness and melancholy being left. Having read this lovely poem, reminds me again to that day for each of my sons. I did never nag about " the empty nest syndrome " since I had no time to think about that. I am a lecturer and my spouse has your hub´s profession.
Too passionate about the process of gradual parting of a daughter loved and cared much. The imagery is great, to teach riding a bicycle is teaching to live. Thank you.
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Though heart wrenching, the poem is very sweet as it evokes personal feelings in the readers' minds.
this poem is quite heart braking also really good
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