Bicycle

Little 3ish year old Abi in Kazakhstan

The First Time

The first time I pedaled
on a two-wheeled bike, I was eight,
scared, and weighed down
by self-doubt and old pieces of
pink bubblegum. My foot met a
pedal, its first hello tinged with
distrust as it sunk its weight
into the mesh of plastic and
metal. Sweat poured from
pores, skin sticky like
cherry lollipops.
Three seconds to launch
and my imagination
skyrocketed, as I pictured
hitting the razor-sharp
pavement that would
cut my knees til they
blossomed red.
My father began the countdown
and I steadied myself to lose
control, face contorted with
courage. He released me,
and my thighs pumped
like train engines,
my feet faster than
speeding cars,
the wind bowing before
my every movement,
and I flew like a princess
on top of the world,
with the powers of
a superhero, my fantasies
touching the precipice
of reality.