“To a Daughter Leaving Home” by Linda Pastan
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
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.
from The Imperfect Paradise, 1988
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, NY
Copyright 1988 by Linda Pastan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. from The Imperfect Paradise. Copyright 1988 by Linda Pastan. For further permissions information, contact Linda Pastan, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Poet
Poet Linda Pastan (1932- ) was raised in New York City but has lived for most of her life in Potomac, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. Linda Pastan is the author of over a dozen poetry collections, including Insomnia: Poems (W. W. Norton and Company, 2015).
Learn more about Linda Pastan at The Poetry Foundation.