Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When We Noticed the Bicycle was Missing

When We Noticed the Bicycle was Missing

We got mad at our son, careless again,
we said.  Must've left it at a friend's
or rode it to school on a one way tour
of clueless-ville.  But then I remembered
backing out of the garage, seeing it
slouching on its kick stand, shoulders
leaning up against the concrete wall
and I apologized to his sleeping

innocence.  Still the bike is gone, ten
speed, all blue and chrome and grass
stains. Taken in the moments between
one of us filling up the tank, the other
running to the basement to change
laundry, both boys in Sunday's race
against homework.  Anger, the first
responder.  We didn't  bother to call

the police.  Not a new bike.  Well used. 
Well loved.  Well tended.  Well
and truly gone now. I want to imagine
some boy desperate for wheels, feet
pumping in guilty circles. I hope
he needed this bike, hope he doesn't
live near here, hope he never rides past
the house, face burning with the shame of it.

--LJCohen, 9/20/10

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