Archive for November 29th, 2013

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Bicycle by Derek Mahon

There was a bicycle, a fine
Raleigh with five gears
And racing handlebars.
It stood at the front door
Begging to be mounted;
The frame shone in the sun.

I became like a character
In “The Third Policeman,” half
Human, half bike, my life
A series of dips and ridges,
Happiness a free-wheeling
Past fragrant hawthorn hedges.

Cape and sou’wester streamed
With rain when I rode to school
Side-tracking the bus routes.
Night after night I dreamed
Of valves, pumps, sprockets,
Reflectors and repair kits.

Soon there were long rides
In the country, wet week-ends
Playing snap in the kitchens
Of mountain youth-hostels,
Day-runs to Monaghan,
Rough and exotic roads.

It went with me to Dublin
Where I sold it the same winter;
But its wheels still sing
In the memory, stars that turn
About an eternal centre,
The bright spokes glittering.

From: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/IrelandGenWeb/2002-11/1036174896

Date: 1972

By: Derek Mahon (1941- )