Life in the Bike Lane
Shakespeare had mankind walking from stage left
in a life-defining play.
The stage in my town has bike lanes
where mankind moves through life on wheels,
from trike to bike to trike again.
Safe in the cul- de- sac,
toddlers on their first trike
Attentive parents thrill
as the relationship
of peddling forward is learned.
In the next scene, the tyke leaves the trike
to become a passenger in a two-wheel trailer,
not unlike the travois of the Native Americans.
The one-parent power-pulling bike
leaves no signs of strain on the passenger's face.
Power by mommy- flextime and daddy-duty;
safe, warm and going defines a child's biking.
A year peddling from the back seat of a bike-for-two,
then the two-wheeler
with training wheels.
A push to start and a moment of panic,
left- training wheel off the ground,
right- training wheel off the ground.
Then with growing size and momentum,
all is well
longer legs and bigger bikes.
Finally out of the cul-de-sac and
into the bike lanes.
Ten-speeds with crazy handle bars
off to school, backpack over-loaded.
Learn of bike locks and theft.
Learn of paper routes.
Teenagers riding bikes but wanting a car,
College students idealistic green
off to campus to model
for freshmen how to ride
in safety on campus.
Finally in suit and tie with briefcase
on the backrack,
the young professor is on his way.
Campus culture calls for two-wheeler,
rain or shine.
Balance slips and so does the older rider,
skinned knees and broken glasses.
The daily- rain- or shine trip
no longer needed,
but the exercise is lost.
Back to the trike.
No balance problem and
the basket holds bags of groceries.
Whether the world is a stage or a bike lane,
actors move through time.