Learning to Ride

I know that there were hands behind me
like a scaffold to be sewn into the mind
for future use in middle age, supporting
the crooked back of motherhood,
to let them fall, to have them ride.

and it was the hillside, the rolling path that took
him forward without my hands
because it was a better option—to ride away
in exhilarating pleasure than to believe that this new body
had a balance of before and after.

We can be owned by no one except in the memory of hands.
They keep letting us go to pedal the bridges of this unsteady world.


12 thoughts on “Learning to Ride

  1. Carol A. Hand says:

    Such beautiful imagery, and such courage in these times, Kate. I love your blessing comment. May all children come across many gentle, helping hands and hearts to help them cross bridges on their journey through life…

  2. sanberdooboy says:

    probably most of us have memories of learning how to ride. now that i have read your poem, i see why it such an important milestone.So much truth in this powerful line: “We can be owned by no one except in the memory of hands.”

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