First Ride by Sarah Thursday

Not at four or five, but nine—my first ride,
two wheels under, long seat, long handles
reaching out to hold me like how
I'd imagined my first kiss. I pushed
my feet against the pedals—move forward,
stay straight—push down. I was wavering
but I challenged the authority of gravity.
Sidewalk rough and cracked upwards  
from the rebellious roots of trees hovering
over, shedding their seeds and leaves.
They dared me to ride under, past
their obstacle course —I did have something
to prove—I needed to win this race.
I held tight to my handles, gripped sharply
onto the balance I found there near
the street. I understood how simple it would be
to gain the respect of nature, though
I was never more than city-child,  
born of wire and concrete. 


Sarah Thursday is an advocate for local poets and poetry events. She runs a Long Beach-focused poetry website called CadenceCollective.net, co-hosts a monthly reading and, started Sadie Girl Press. Her first full-length poetry collection, All the Tiny Anchors, is available now. Find and follow her on SarahThursday.com, Facebook, or Twitter.