You catch a whiff of three-in-one
and there are the kids in frayed shorts at the kerb side
bending over the same tick and tick
of spokes twinkling those same rainbows.
That is the skill you never lose,
and even if you couldn’t let go of the handlebars
and steer by pure balance from the hips,
you go on trying to without knowing.
So that when the dream comes, as it must,
you’re free-wheeling down that long hill
so fast that the sea comes up
in sudden jerks, and your cheeks ‘re streaming,
and your shirtsleeves are rattling straight out
each side, and you’re singing loudly.
First published by Rialto Magazine