Poems & Essays

23 Feb

The Bicycle

General/Column One Response


She watches him grow

into his smile.

Her small blond child

shines with the thrill

of his new bicycle.

It’s his first time.


He swings a joyous leg

over the top.

Her hands tremble

trying to hold

the seat secure.

He pushes off,

wobbles at first,

then steadies himself.


The distance widens,

stretches before her

more and more taut

until, inside of her

something snaps.

Something she cannot mend

or replace.


Irene Howe is the author of The Song She Guards (Biddle Publishing Company 1995) in which this poem was first published.

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1 Comment

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  1. Julie von Zerneck

    February 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Grabed and made me remember.


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