My first bike
Was a neighbor’s bike.
“Too many hills,” my mom had said
As if topography in any way diminished
The accelerated thrill
Of legs off pedals
From the top of the rise
To our street.
There was no arguing
Or vowing to share and never fight.
We knew her words were code
For “we cannot afford.”
But my sister’s friend across the street
Did have a bike
And with it the absolute power to dispense
Rides, routes, direction, and duration.
There were no training wheels
To ease one in.
There was no question of admitting
Complete lack of experience
And risking an evaporated offer.
So it was guts and trepidation
A stranglehold on the handlebar
And the utter exhilaration