Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Skills Like These

for Chris

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.


Anonymous said...

I am a professional hand shaker.

I have a christmas gift for you.

Brian Foley said...

Where are you?
There you are -