I don’t envy you your mortal enemies –

coaches, scoutmasters, priests, uncles,

arrogant enough to tell you how you must live –

who want you to believe the only regimen

to go from boy to man

takes huffing, puffing, gritting of teeth,

spasms in your calves and thighs,

a catch in your ribcage, pain


Shouts and hoots from passing cars confirm

the tyranny of what you’ve been taught to believe:

candy ass, for one thing; sissy, for another,

that you need to “earn those abbs”


What I  do envy is that you just don’t seem

to give a shit:

flaps of your helmet swing freely under your chin,

no tears I can see, steady march uphill,

teeth riveted in the silence of a courage

bold enough to muffle fear


I like your private smile at the pinnacle,

how you snap your helmet tight,

casually mount the bike,

arch up the front wheel into the wind

and pedal furiously downhill


Fly now, iconoclast, fly




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