When I talkied about my laptop computers not lasting much longer than five years, Martha Kennedy commented “Same here. All one (of mine) does is play YouTube I project on my TV monitor for riding the Bike to Nowhere.” When I commented that I’d like to steal, with attribution, that phrase “Bike to Nowhere” and write a poem about it, she generously agreed, so here it is:
As I go spinning on the bike to nowhere,
imagination knows no bounds.
Earlier adventures catch up to me,
jump on the handlebars and hitch a ride.
Riding the highway shoulders
north and south and east—
gravel corridors with their destinations
too far away to ever be reached.
Lunch in a brown paper bag,
top twisted in the bike’s basket.
My tan Hiawatha,
my best friend’s blue Schwinn.
Passed up by boys
with fishing rods
fastened to rear fenders,
somewhere to go revealed
by their hurry to get there.
Our kick stands
useless in the soft dirt,
our bikes lie toppled over
As we lie flat-backed in the grass
beside the North Dam,
we hear them cast their lines, again and again,
into the fruitless water.
My ham salad, her peanut butter,
potato chips in a twist-tie baggie—
all I remember of earlier rides
almost lost to memory.