September 15, 2017

A boy rides in circles on his trike
inside the yellow light of an open garage.
Driving home after dark, I see him there,
a little spinning world, all self-contained.

I know the family, know his mother must,
though unseen, be somewhere nearby watching,
but in that skinny light he seems so all
alone. Childhood is very lonely, I think

and look into the rearview mirror, where
the oldest of my three kids sits in back
and reads by flashlight while I drive her home.
Each time she turns the page, a shadow moves

across her face. I know, despite my books
on fathering, she travels milky space capsuled
in her own thoughts. I know I hold her
only in an ever looser orbit.