They run, sideways, hopping, skipping,
giggles flying into the breeze.
Even the easily wounded are
smiling, no tears now.
We are headed to the BIG playground.
I am the caboose, guarding them
from any and all surprises.
Not their mother, but their teacher,
with just enough emotional distance, I
luxuriate in the poignancy of this
Off they go, knowing that a protector is
before them and behind,
confident in their plans.
With a piece of my heart
in their hands.