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You step from the car
and a four-hour drive with the children,
in charge, but so slender
that I go straight to you
and fold you in my arms
and feel the warmth
tighten around me and know
that though we will soon be immersed in problems
of containing and entertaining your children,
fitting in shopping, family gatherings, outings,
getting meals, washing up, clearing a way
through toys, being baby-sitters, playing games;
though I will grumble afterwards
about your demands, my tiredness,
the disorientation of my unnecessarily busy existence,
what underlies all this
is precious beyond price
and mine.