Miz Quickly’s Bicycles

This poem is inspired by “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens and a poem by Peter Frankis and Miz Quickly’s 5 July bicycle prompt

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bicycle

Among the twenty-six spokes
of my bicycle the only moving
thing was the nine of spades
card pegged to the back wheel.

I was of three minds.
Mine. Its. And another that
made full use of expletives.

The spokes whirled with speed
until I bulldozed into a fence.

A girl and her bike
are one. Until the girl
falls off. Then they are
not one. They are two.

I don’t know which to prefer,
my bike with its cute woven
wicker basket, or the boot
of my car. Well, actually,
yes, I do know.

Pebbles embedded in the long
bone of my leg as if barbaric
glass, and the shadow of that
panel fence tracked the towpath
as dark as my mood. What cause
had it to throw me off my bike.

O’ old woman of Sussex, why do
you imagine you can do what you
did at 40. Resolve yourself to
walk on your feet like other
women about you.

That blackbird in the tree,
singing lucid, inescapable
rhythms and rhyme is a better
poet than I dare to dream.
It probably rides a bike, too.

So, I practised riding my bike,
out of sight, at the far edge
of the park. Many circles
I made, riding on my bike.

At the sight of four girls
walking my way, they laughed
as I steered out of their way.
I cried out sharply as I fell.

I rode to the shops to buy
milk and bread. Fear pieced
me as I lodged into a hole
from a missing manhole cover.

The wheels are moving.
I think I’m airborne.
Good thing I wear a helmet.

I gave my bike to a woman
whose son struggled with
lockdown. He had a bike.
She did not. They ride happy
as a pair of blackbirds,
and they never fall off.

Poem and Photograph © Misky 2020.
Photo taken with iPhone.

6 responses to “Miz Quickly’s Bicycles”

  1. And this is why I no longer ride my bike. The. End.


    1. No, it’s not really the end. I truly like this one, Misky. Such a clever use of the prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After I misjudged a corner, crashed and cracked a rib, I stopped trying to ride it. I was just glad that it’s now being used and enjoyed by the woman who took it.


  2. Wincing and laughing – (or is that the call of a blackbird?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our blackbirds are so darned melodic they deserve a record label.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this. Sorry about the cracked rib, though. The last time I tried riding a bike again after long years I thought my legs were going to have to be amputated.


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