Skills Like These
We were talking about Origin of the Species
and it became apparent
you didn't know how to ride a bike.
I said I'd show you, but then we had
to wait three weeks for the Viking helmet
you bought in an online auction to arrive.
You said you wouldn't saddle up without it.
On my two-wheeled black stallion
called 'Delightful Smell' I showed you how to pedal,
how to effectively turn the handle bars away
from things you didn't want to see. You went
to college and had lived through forty jobs or so
where you'd done the same thing and it didn't take you
very long to learn the lesson of falling down and getting
back up, despite overwhelming evidence to stay down.
Meanwhile we moved onto basic tricks. How to
pop wheelies and grind the curb. How to ride
without hands and flip cars the bird. You spent
heavy hours inside the bunny hop. I watched you
through the screen door while sipping orange juice.
People don't grow in the same places, don't learn
the same skills. I wondered if you knew how to
swim and if you would one day show me.
But then I won the lottery and had to collect
my oversized check. I returned home four days later
after my hair had grown longer and the celebration had
worn off. I found you coasting back and forth on the
half pipe in my back yard, your helmet lying near the
base. I guess I didn't show you how to stop.