The Day I Fell Off My Bike

Walking was difficult now
so how could I enjoy the spring?
Was I forever banished from strolling through the woods?
From greeting the buttercups, the trilliums,
Spring Beauties, the May Apples?
“No way, Jose!”
For $30
I bought a bike from the sixth grade boy
next door.  His dad
adjusted the seat on this
old no-gear stop-with-your-pedal bike.
Not able to get my leg up and over I
sat it on the ground, stepped over and
pulled the bike up between my legs
And then:
Get those pedals right,
here at the top of the slanted drive,
hop up on that seat and I’m off!
Sailing down the drive into
the quiet street, no cars,
I’m pedaling happily and free!
I’m 71 and I can still ride a bike!
Around the corner onto the next quiet street,
wind and sun on my skin, in my hair, on my face,
I wave at the neighbors and they
Smile back and wave me on.
But down the way
I’m surprised to see where this
street is going – into
A car-busy street, I
see it coming up – Must either
stop or make a U.
A wide driveway offers
space for a turn and
I go for it,
for the U turn,
but  don’t   quite   make it.
Whoops,  Whoops I’m on the pavement
 really  hard.  My arms reach out to
   protect, to stop, bike on top of me, pain in shin,  blood?
      can’t tell, try to gather
         nerves and muscles back together quickly,
car coming down the way, pain actually
  pretty bad.  “Are you Okay, Ma’m,”  the young man asks
  passing very slowly in his car?
“I’m fine; thanks.” I lie and smile, and he
moves on and so do I,
walking my bike till
I’m stable enough to get on again.
I get on again,
Pedal with effort towards home,
afraid to look at my throbbing shin
but once again on wheels
and I’m still 71 and still
riding a bike!

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