A Little Child Leading

On Your Birthday, A Bike With Gears

It was as if I were a mirror.

When you pedaled

my legs became wheels.

When you braked

my knees clenched.

When you smiled

my teeth whitened by twenty years.

Now you can climb Chapel Hill

and you thought you didn't have a prayer.

All year you have been climbing through pants,

shooting out of sleeves.

How time speeds as we turn

older, to another gear, then disappears,

as you mirror me on my first bike,

toward Sandy Beach, pedaling for broke.

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