In the 80s bikes were
handed down from someone taller
back pedal braking
I rode so slowly I
ended up on the ground
daily lessons in
the way a knee-scab dries, lifts
from the outside edges in.
90s bikes faux mountain bikes
Shimano gears a point of pride
fluorescent touches on the frame
double towbar car rack family weekends
there have always been bikes.
The red one that moved
house to house with each break up
makeshift shelter beneath outside stairs
or leaning against a laundry wall
still so much to learn
about hills and hearts
about maintenance, about holding on.
Red was my favourite
my next bike was blue
after I changed my life
for a love that matched in hue
I fell off into a rosemary bush
smelt amazing, sure
but that feeling of betrayal
again and again
forever loosening the brakes
so a buckled wheel can still turn.