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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

                                                                                     down

                                                                                            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.