First Bike Ride

Almost overnight

winter slinked away

like a lethargic cat,

his pneumonia was gone,

and new life sprang

from every withered branch,

from every pool of melted snow.

He could feel his own pulse quicken

as he oiled the chain

on the yellow mountain bike

and headed down the road.


Passing the ancient oak tree

with its huge entangled arms,

he became once more

the boy who was a prince

among squirrels and jays,

perched on the highest bough

in Alley Pond Park,

surveying his domain.

And when  he shifted

into high gear at the hill

the bicycle became a racer

made from orange crates

and carriage wheels

and he was careening at full speed

towards adolescence,

unable to slow down,

the cicadas chirping in the fallow fields,

cheering him on.


(originally published in Synaesthesia Magazine)



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