Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Like Riding a Bike

There was a time
when we both had
mothers & bikes,

& spun around
your neighborhood
on two wheels

to get away
from them. Well,
I was getting away

from my mother,
who thought yours
would be with us

as we zipped
around corners,
chugged to the top

of hills & soared
back down. We must
have been six or so,

& unsure
how to brake,

all downhill speed,
handlebars swiveling
out of control

& before I knew it
my body took flight
right into a mailbox.

I was fine but my Schwinn
was busted up, & you,
well I forgot

about you over time.
Maybe my mother
forbid us

from biking
together, or we
learned to drift

without crashing,
nothing to remind
us when to cry

& so we just kept
peddling until
we thought to look

back at what we lost,
to see it grow
small in the distance.

When I found
out last month
your mother had died,

my own
only said
how sad.

For days, all
I could see
was her face

when we finally
returned to your house:
first scolding us

for coming back
late, & then,
watching me walk

my crooked-seat bike
up the driveway,
how she ran to me—  

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