by Colette Coen
I sit on the bench patiently waiting for my text to be answered. I watch another mother (20 years younger than me), run along; hand on the saddle; gently encouraging.
Her tensed back judders as her daughter fails to break for the third time. The bike and girl fall sideways to the stony path. She cries indignantly at her mother, who bites her tongue.
The mother’s shoulders rise, then are pushed back down: once, twice, then she mouths words I cannot hear. They’re off again. I see the woman straighten, and they both look straight ahead along the path in front of me. The woman carefully retrieves her hands from the saddle, and slows to walk.
“Look mummy, I’m doing it on my own. I don’t need you now.”
I take a breath and mutter underneath it, “Fall”.
“Sorry Mum, can’t meet 2day. 2 bzy. CU l8r. Sx”
Colette Coen is an ex-librarian, ex-literacy tutor, now full-time mum and part-time writer.