High School Senior

Olds, Sharon

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Aull, Felice
  • Date of entry: Dec-31-1996
  • Last revised: Aug-24-2006


A mother reflects on the significance of her daughter’s anticipated departure for college. She compares how she felt before the birth of her daughter--unable to imagine what life would be like with her--and how she feels now, unable to imagine life without her. Since her birth, the child has been an essential part of the mother’s life, "like food or air . . . like a mother."


A sensitive reflection on one of the important landmarks of parenting in contemporary American culture--the loss experienced when children first leave home, often never to live there again.

Primary Source

The Wellspring



Place Published

New York