Finding balance in the second half of life

For Madeline, at 17

In Family, Fulfillment on April 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

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When I lifted you
at three
onto Keyline’s broad back,
you clasped the pommel
like a scepter
and eyed the reins
in my hand.
Leading him at a walk (nothing more),
me on one side,
the rail on the other,
I didn’t see
the flint strike
your steely core,
the spark of fear,
your own North Star,
that would guide you through
high school’s fun house—
not in a straight line, but still—
draw you toward the jump
into your two-point,
finding your balance,
eyes up, trained
beyond the oxer,
on the vertical,
hands soft on the reins,
already practiced in the art
of release.

*After Linda Pastan
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  1. Wonderful, Christine! They do go at a gallop, don’t they? Sigh. The parental dressage . . . Best, C

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