BICYCLE

I remember the day I learned how to ride my bike

I cried because I didn’t want my dad holding the handle bars

I took off running down the street, dragging my bike by my side, powder blue helmet jiggling loosely on my tiny head

When he started catching up to me I thought;

“What a great idea to hop on this bike to go faster”

He stopped.

Right there in front of the Rhulands house and he smiled.

I was already half way down the block, wind in my white blonde hair, my purple skater shoes pedaling faster than a windmill picking up speed

I think that’s when my parents knew.

That’s why they never questioned why I came home with dandelions tied to my shoelaces

Or asked about the unfinished stories scribbled on my door frame

In green crayon on Tuesdays

They didn’t care as to why I sat in the tops of trees for hours on end laughing at the sky.

They just rubbed my back and made sure my shoes were double knotted

I took on my first play in 1999, I was in kindergarten.

The play was the gingerbread man and I had a lead role

I refused to wear my costume so I waltzed on stage sporting my hedgehog shirt

I didn’t feel like saying my lines so I jumped off the front of the stage and sat down in the audience

My parents laughed.

I still come across days where I physically can’t speak because my head is packed with stories and I fear that when I talk I will

One time when I was five I couldn’t cry

There’s this house on the corner of my street

Poems and collages spread across my lungs

Remember when Isaac lost his imagination

Make no sense. 

I’m terrified of the freedom in my lungs, the way they gasp

Gasp

Gasp

For anything that makes my elbows smile.

People don’t understand that carmel apple suckers are more than a candy

And that stickers at the dentist office are memories stuck to my cheeks, leaving residue of old tree houses and backyards made into kingdoms

Fighting for our differences

Flying a flag that reads “Weird People Only” 

Proudly.

I still remember where my dad found me and my bike

My bike, laying recklessly, in front of a fence, wheels still spinning aimlessly

I was a couple blocks down

I’d already grown weary of the tedious task of peddling

I was carving my name into a tire hanging from an oak tree

That tire is gone.

Since then I’ve found other things to carve my name into.

I’m sorry you had to be one of them.