Each day became a fresh parole
of baking heat and brilliant sun,
escaping dark, oppressive rooms,
away from grasping, clawing arms.
Careening through the dusty streets,
my two speeds being fast and stop,
in rubber thongs and outgrown shorts,
not knowing what a helmet was.
Feeling like some fresh Columbus,
each exploration newly born,
outrunning my captivity,
until the evening's dimming light.
Returning burnt and gravel-rashed,
with long black hair a tangled mop,
so hungry for some nourishment,
but food and need was all I got.
That freedom was a soaring cloud,
through painful, childhood summer days,
in every year that’s hurried past,
I’ve never, ever, felt the same.
(My poor, confused mother, in an attempt to keep me as her “captive entertainment”, sold the bike the winter I was 11.)
Maybe I should buy a Vespa...?