her mousy hair is pulled back in a headband, revealing a solemn face with large eyes behind red-framed glasses. carefully following the line behind all the other 1st graders slipping beneath my gaze i almost missed her. and i would have, except for her hands.
held carefully at waist height, with the palms turned toward her body and hands clutching empty air, they bobbed every so slightly with each step. not just up and down, but a slight rocking forward motion. my eyes travelled down to her pink clad feet, and saw the most discreet hint of a stutter step - an intentional gait that was done with such grace & control that you could hardly notice it. but every tenth step or so, she would forget herself and one mighty galloping step would escape.
and so, down the hall she goes, this serious little girl quietly riding her invisible horse.