Monday, 10 January 2011

Balancing The Books

There are poems to be written, stories to be read, swims to be swum - a thousand and one interesting things to do but they are all off-limits until our accounts have been written up and put into the hands of the accountant. Every year we vow to do this laborious job month by month. Every year we find ourselves in this high-pressure January scramble to assemble receipts etc and get the whole thing logged in the big red book...

To compound the misery, the holiday is finally over. Empty-nest syndrome kicked in yesterday when our eldest daughter went back to London for the start of term. Our middle daughter's flat is only five minutes away, but the three of us left behind all notice how roomy the house feels when the girls are gone.
Now, back to the books...

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
Linda Pastan


  1. lovely lovely poem, thanks for sharing
    much love

  2. Lovely poem Mum. Made me laugh when I thought back to me actually learning to ride a bike :) Missing you all too. Lots of love xxxx

  3. Oh thats a lovely poem - esp the last image...and here's me wishing for the peace to write, its a reminder to emjoy them while they're here. Thanks!

  4. I'm glad you like the poem Martine and Niamh - Linda Pastan has a gentle but powerful way of describing everyday experiences it's easy to identify with.....

    yes Nell I remember, didn't I say something along the lines of 'use the handlebars to steer... use the handlebars to steer...USE THE HANDLEBARS TO STEER...AAARGGGHHHHH!!!!

  5. brake...brake...NELL HIT THE BRAKKKKEEEEEE!!!

  6. oh yes...that right!!!!! as I headed for the ditch!