(x = space)

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Bike

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Today is Thursday

Is anyone paying attention?

I don’t mean that as a

Teacher might say

As Mister Frazier said in class

With his own separation

Of sound:

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You’re not paying attention a-TALL

He went

To our church, I think

His daughter was my age

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I do wish I had stayed there,

The old neighborhood

Not the first

But the one I really know

With all the

Inconsistencies

School in scattered buildings

Busing when we had to

Walking for the other grades

All inside years

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All the awkwardness in

Growing up, though for a time

There were always children

Up for games

At one house or another

Sometimes on

The street (there were cul-de-sacs)

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The old neighborhood was green

Except for asphalt

Into which I slid from time to time,

Which felt like gray

(memory is gray)

Except for red

Falling from my bike,

My big black bike with three whole

Gears, a hand-me-down from

My oldest brother

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I couldn’t ride it for a while

Thinking someone had to teach me

Then one day, I suppose, I’d had enough

Of waiting

I got up on a hillside

Rising from the driveway

Lifted the bike (it was tall),

Purchased myself upon it

Pushed away

Feet found the pedals

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I went in circles for a while

Then out on the street

All went pretty well

It was a good, gray day in early fall

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C L Couch

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Photo by Alex Mnatsakanov on Unsplash

Chiswick, London, UK

Last days of fall, London.

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