Waving Back

I remember the summer your body first began to stretch.
We went, just you and I, to a salt pond by the seashore.
You loved it because it was broad and shallow
And you could wade out into it, and leave me behind.

I sat on the shore and watched you,
The growing body in blue stripes.
With every few steps, you would turn to wave
And see me waving back.

The water gets deeper. You stretch out taller,
Swim forward, dive under, look back less.
But my part doesn’t change: I watch from the beach.
And when you turn to check, I am still here
Ready to wave back.

From Waving Back: Poems of Mothering Life