Sunday, August 5, 2018

Poem: Biking to Work

I didn’t used to like biking. Before I found a decent bicycle that fit me right. Before I had to rely on biking as my only means of transportation. Before I became accustomed to the sheen of sweat that coated my arms afterwards.

Now, I don’t mind it so much. I enjoy it actually. Back when I was living in England, I had to bike everywhere. It was either that or walk (sloooooooow) or take the bus (muggy and wasting money better spent on books). Now, I don’t need to bike. Even though I’m still living in Europe, I have my international license and can drive wherever I want.

But I still like to bike. I used to bike to the library once a week because it was less stressful than driving. Recently, I started a new job that requires me to leave the house, and I still like to bike there. Sure, there are hills. But it’s mostly downhill on the way home. Sure, I’ll take the car on days when it’s 94 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t want to pass out. But I enjoy the feel of biking overall.


Biking to Work

on a week that’s not “official”
            is what I do regularly,
even if it’s not typical.
            I like the feel of wind-blown hair,
the smell of wooded, damp bike paths,
            the flutter of a butterfly,
the blue-tinged wings of a dragon,
            the way my heart pounds as I race
down the hillside or climb another.
           
“Don’t you want to take the car?” —or—
“I admire your tenacity.”—
these words I hear as I snatch up
my helmet, secure my sunglasses.

Why would I want to take the car?—
gas emitter, rusted machine,
air-conditioned environment
where I have to remember not
to lose my calm, to breath normal,
not to talk to other drivers
who cannot hear me anyway.

Why would I want to feel the stress?—
                        peak
and ebb
like sea waves, ruled by mistress moon—
stop and go and stop—STOP.

Why not weave along the bike path
            with the occasional walker?
Why not wait at a crosswalk,
            heart beating away today’s stress?

Maybe for an audiobook,
I might drive.

***

Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? How do you get to work, or do you work from home? Do you enjoy riding a bike?

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