Friday, September 10, 2010

No hands

I just got home,
via bike,
from Cambridge,
and for
3 blocks on Broadway
in Southie,
(starting on A Street
and ending when I had to swerve around
a semi
double-parking in front of McDonalds
at the corner of D),
I rode with no hands.

I have great memories of biking no-handed.

Most of them
in Cando, North Dakota,
age 7,
hot-pink single gear with flowered basket,
heading to the swimming pool.

In college
between junior and senior year,
the July evening Alan and I
rode no-handed
the wrong way down the one-way
(racing, more precisely)
from downtown Moorhead to downtown Fargo,
NP Avenue,
for what seemed like miles,
even though memory likely romanticizes this distance.

On the Danube,
not long ago,
Balint and I laboring
off-road on the tops of grassy levees,
mosquito swarms dense as gum,
when we unexpectedly hung a right onto a
stretch of blacktop
with no seeming end
and no seeming traffic.
I couldn't help but
let go of the handles
and cruise.
I looked over
as if to say
"see! look!"
but he was already doing the same and
(again it seemed)
this went on
for miles.

Tonight was perhaps
the first time in Boston
I've dared let go.

Could be due to the potholed terrain.
The hundred opening car doors.
The general need to be steering
around jaywalkers.
Stop signs every block.
Semis that double-park
on the street in front of McDonalds
when there's a parking lot out back
just because it's Southie
and everyone double-parks.

I think that's why
when I crossed over A Street
and felt I could go for it,
the freedom caught me off-guard enough
that just thinking about it
still makes
my throat catch.

Even though it was
only 3 blocks.

Nice to know,
some nights,
that little things
still have power.

1 comment:

Karen Boss said...


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