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
Linda Pastan (1932- ) is the author of over a dozen poetry collections, including Insomnia: Poems (W. W. Norton and Company, 2015).