Zest and Abandon

The bike broke eight times
when I was young
since I loved it too well
and too poorly
both at once.

I didn’t know how to treat this thing
I spent such time with
and hurt it
with a zest and abandon
that must have been crushing
and, in fact, was.

I lost so many bicycles
to my youthful behavior
and felt awful
each time I found myself walking
rather than flying on handlebars
racing down roads
jumping curbs
and popping righteous wheelies.
Being without a bike sucked

but losing the bike
to the repair shop
or the dump
sucked even more
and I found myself
less and less
on my soft-spoked friend
and more and more pacing the pavement.

I gave up on bikes
since it hurt so much
to lose them.

And now I am old
and heavy
and my calves are all flab
and I don’t even know
if I can balance myself the way I used to
I long so deeply and well
to fly on the handlebars
and pop a righteous wheelie.

I just hope
that there’s a bike
prepared to handle me.

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