This is it: front wheel locked,
rear one rolling, tail whipping out from behind.
Grip frozen, heart pounding—the noise,
the road rash, the bleeding and the scaring
all but certain now.
And there she hangs, neither up nor down
but placid, serene even, as the memories
pull pace and flicker by:
nobody believed her, nobody stopped him,
nobody came, nobody does, nobody will.
So, why not? she thinks, looking down.
It’s an embrace of a sort and she’s certain
she’s due, and it means, at least,
landing somewhere and having something to cling to.
Sometimes any kiss is worth the price,
if you don’t have to hold yourself upright
to receive it.
After that, don’t ask me how it went,
I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
Anyone who has ridden a bike in a group setting knows the danger of a sudden fall. For those who have come close (guilty) or actually fallen (ditto), we know that there is a point, just before it happens, when it can go either way. It is a moment of total clarity, where everything freezes and you think, “Will I, or won’t I?” It’s like a full life in a moment.
Thank you for reading On a skidding bike. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.
The photograph was taken during a day walk in Boston, Massachusetts. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.
Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2014 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.