Push Off


The pitch of Chilkoot
induces nose bleeds
untanglable stomach knots

Standing at the top
bicycle gripped in young hands
hair tossed by wind
head helmet free
the time has come
to ride down this road

Really more a crease
in the cliff face
enfolding downtown Stillwater
this small Minnesota hamlet
gouged out of rock
by drifting glaciers
grinding by millenniums ago

A right of passage
to test the intensity
of your chilly Scandinavian nerve

If you ride the brakes too hard
you’ll topple sideways
from lack of proper momentum

Race down unrestrained
you just might launch into air
unable to stop
at the bottom
fly into the waiting intersection

be caught by a car

a passing delivery truck

Scores have pushed off before you
resolutely swung leg over seat
descended at alarming speed
eyes of glass

An assessment of tenacity
for accomplishing momentous things
risking your very skin and skull
doing what appears impossible
to reach the promised bounty of river valley

©Julie Ayers

April 2012 – NaPoWriMo 8




About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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