A Trace of Herself — Sadie Maddock
misdeeds drip from the handle bars
where her clenched fists have sweated out their secrets.
on paved roads they splash to form a trail behind her
but the sun sizzles the drips into non-existence
she has to ride faster to flee from the erasure
and ensure that she leaves a trace of herself.
break pads are worn bare
from the many times she almost flew freely
a hill but stopped herself with a squeak.
now the breaks squeal at the lightest pressure
but the ruckus does not prevent her from frequenting their comforting reassurance.
the jack of hearts motors away against the spokes,
the ticks swelling and fading with the speed of her pedaling feet
and the pounding of her heart beneath a sunburned chest –
a pounding prompted by more than just aerobic activity.
she revels in the solitude,
exhilarated to be doing something for herself
but likes to think that someone may be watching
because it’s encouraging to believe
that other people notice.
and all this imagery conjured in her mind.
she feels silly
as she pedals and sweats
then dismounts to walk her bike up the hill
completing the reality of the unromantic image.