The Step

I have watched these chubby little legs

For over six months now

Tremble and shake

My gaze transfixed in expectation

The bouncy little bottom

Moves up and down to a tune

Only she can hear


Hands fixed to the lounge

Free but not yet free

One more step to complete

Her head turns with a smile

That always melts my heart

Her eyes deep pools of innocence

Announce the time has come 


First one hand then the other

Leave safety behind forever

Everything will change for us both now

My heart stops, I am frozen in time with her

Her face a picture of all feelings at once

Fear, joy, confusion, wonder, happiness, concentration

False start, hands back, reappraisal, test complete


She turns back, more test bounces, check complete

Hands free, head turns again, all go for launch

Her arms experience a new role, steadying the ship

Her smile burns its image to my mind forever

My heart stops again, our world stops

It’s all up to her now, this is it

And then

The step


First right leg, then pause, small wobbles

Then left, my heart racing, bursting from my chest

Her concentration turns to a smile

She giggles, wobbles, her world has just grown larger

I look into her eyes and fail to notice

That all this time, she has been looking into mine

The moment passes, she falls


I sweep her into my arms

Look for hurt and tears

There is none to be seen

Her face is still a beacon, burning so bright

I am dazzled by its brilliance

I have seen her first steps in life

She just smiles and giggles, unaware of the gift she has given


This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of Neville John Gourley, 2 Sarah Court, Capalaba, Queensland 4157, and dated 21-04-2013.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

My daughters first steps.

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