My youngest and I made our way down a wooded trail to the park.
She ambled ahead in her stumbling gait,
While I tried to catch her, though she wouldnâ€™t wait.
Lagging behind the moment, I shunned the dark
Thought that this is the thoroughfare
Parents pass, pausing before letting go of small hands
And venturing wills that walk a few steps ahead,
Then far away, to distant lands.
But on our way back
I felt comforted when she asked to ride on my shoulders.
I savored her need, sealing it in my mind, â€˜cause I know when sheâ€™s older
Sheâ€™ll be bolder
And forsake some of the things Iâ€™ve told her.
And, for all my words, I hope sheâ€™ll remember this:
Iâ€™ll always bear her,
Even once sheâ€™s too big to ride on my shoulders.