We sat, cozy, in the rocker,
grandmother and granddaughter,
gliding along with ''Mother Goose''
until you slithered away in
a quick Houdini move.
The whole room shimmied as you took
those first stuttering steps
that quickened as you went,
as if you were afraid the rapture
would fade before you got to the shiny
something that had caught your eye.
Your parents and I were frozen
in amazement, then clapping, cheering
as you reached the small white
book, its cover dazzling like
high-gloss enamel. But the light
left your eyes as you flipped
through it. No Little Jack Horner,
no ''Rock-a-Bye Baby,'' no cow jumping
over the moon, only restaurant
not worth a second look.
Your face looked puzzled by our
excitement. I wanted to tell you
(and so much needed to remind myself)
that it didn't matter that the shiny
something turned out to be nothing,
that sometimes splendor happens
along the way, as we lift one foot
after the other, moving toward
what stirs our hearts.
In the following days I realized
how much you had bolstered my
faith in the powers above, how much
you had lightened my footsteps.