I have traveled across mountain and desert
with my firstborn in the belly
of a jet plane.
I have driven him hundreds of miles
more so we could open the doors
and put our footprints on his new world,
this campus so far from home.
My son, who knows all the names
of all the birds, is leaving the nest.
I gather all the strength I have,
barely enough to get back
behind the wheel and leave him to it.
Flying home, sunset rushes at me head on
squeezing out all vestiges of light
on this last, dizzying day with my son,
but I hold on and picture him
at the horizon, a hungry hawk soaring
on a warm wind, wings outstretched and steady.
Photos (c) Suzannah Gilman 2005