She cut the familiar profile

of a rookie trike rider;

leaning way back, her hands

squeezing the handlebars,

straining with the weight

of her cantilevered body,

her bottom pressed into the molded saddle,

her feet thrusting forward in syncopated rhythm.

She was independently mobile,

cutting her own swift, smooth current

atop shiny black asphalt!

Not her jaunty, lollygag strut,

not the uneven bounce of her toddler stride.

My baby was on wheels!

Absent was her mother

steering her stroller;

missing was her father

pushing her toy car.

Come back, Baby! Not so fast!

We haven’t hugged you enough today.

We didn’t squeezed you tight

before you took flight.