At six pm exiting the subway a quicker
young person brushes past me in a hurry.
I pull on the railing one step at a time
but coming down, first one, then two, and yet a third
parent bear strollers lifting their heavy loads
to get to the train. Such are the jobs we do
as parents, getting our children from here to there:
to doctor, to grandparents, to pre school,
and then out of the stroller, not carrying
the actual child, but holding her hand
as she learns to look left and then right,
at the street lights, at the intersection,
at the junctions of her life.
After ballet lessons we always stopped
and had an orangina and a croissant.
Elizabeth would peel the fine layers of the pastry
one at a time letting the buttery dough melt in her
mouth until she had stripped the thing down
to its chocolate center. It was our Saturday morning
ritual. No heavy lifting required.