I’ve seen this in forests, the odd bike
so long ago leaned and left against a tree
that bark and limb have grown round it,
entangling the spokes and frame,
tree and bike, one becoming the other,
or the cars forsaken and rain-glazed,
growing old and older beside the lonely road,
driven and abruptly ditched (I love you;
I love you not), rusting back to earth,
or the farm picker,
forgotten in the field,
jilted on a hill, now concealed
and circled by sapling sentinels.
or searing grief
caused you to stop
so suddenly, to still,
and turn away forever
from what was yours?
Did you finally meet
your yearned-for yes?
Or crushing no?
What sent you spinning
on that shiny dime
from one life into another?
And were you walking towards or away?
When you left home that day
on your bike,
in your car,
seated on your metal plow,
what encounter, what manifestation
or moment’s metanoia,
what flashing bright insight
shot you from your seat
with such unforeseen and instant force?
Did a bush burn before you?
Did a voice call you beloved?
As you walked into your sudden
and surprising choice, did your heart
uplift, feathered, swift? Or was sorrow’s
footprint stamped in every weighty step,
marking a trail of regret? Did you once
or whisper farewell?
And as the forest curtain closed behind you,
or the wheat unbent its golden stalks
to stand once more upright and tight,
or the branches curled round
your bike, claiming its abiding love,
did someone else turn off a light,
you would never return?
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