Tag Archives: bicycle

Dare

27 Nov

The Snyder boys, a couple of years my olders,
take the brakes off a bike and teach themselves
to swerve down our steep street without crashing.
I refuse.  But they get me to bomb the wooded hill    
behind their house.  As I pick up speed, a bump
flops my beloved red crusher down over my face,   
turns the woody blur to black nothing
but hands on handlebars and wheels rolling
pine needles through deep space.  For two seconds
I consider myself the luckiest kid ever on a bike seat. 
I’m gonna make it, I believe, for the time it takes
to find a pine’s rough girth and fall back to earth.
The Snyder boys are there looking scared,
laughing, helping me up, checking the bike,    
and (best of all) telling me I must be frickin’ crazy.

The Old Brown Schwinn Blues

6 Sep

I think I’d give a lot to do over the decision:
my father’s ten speed Schwinn Sports Tourer
gone to the scrapyard for money for vacation.
The maxim, If you don’t ride it, you don’t need it,
uncluttered my life a bit, but now that old brown
Chromium alloy frame and those aluminum rims
haunt me like an unforgiven sin.

My father let me ride it so I could still get to work
after he took my driver’s license, a mercy of persuasion
like a derailleur pushing on a chain to move it.
If I could, I’d go like seventeen again,
bomb a long hill in top gear, lower chin to handlebars
and praise wind that brings tears. Instead,
I slow pedal on this one speed poem.