Bicycle Diaries: <i>by bicycle</i>

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by bicycle

Mathea Harvey
The Boston Review

it's not good or bad
it's how you get
around these

tiny hedged-in lanes
that criss-cross town

maneuverable only
by bicycle because
the larger

roads are for sheep
and cows who have
to move

together is a brief
season when there
are two ruts

in the mud instead of
one but rain
romancing always

leads to rust and that
of course leads to one
place only

hope there isn't a
waiting list and
a reprimand

waiting when you
arrive at the repair
shop smile

and speak quietly and
give your explanation

it is not a place for
banter go to the

these men were all
once like the boy I

would end up here
when I watched him

run the bicycle chain along
his chin to see

how it felt bumpy he
said I said you have

on your chin fooled
around with a
shuttlecock and left

it at that
he doesn't
recognize me
turns away

murmuring to enter
the back room
to enter

the back room is

no facts but lots of
rumors that the vicar
has the firstborn

lamb shorn to pad his
seat that Mrs. Stavely
once slashed

her own tires in a fit
of pique which is
why she doesn't

have one now she
walks with a cane
and is a lesson

to us all this is
possible but what of
the stories about

that room and the
bicycles upside down
on benches

and those men with
the clear eyes and
hands in their pockets

singing and the
spokes all spinning
in response
Happy Thanksgiving!
Back to Berlin tomorrow.



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