Biker’s Prayer

Photo by Javier Quiroga on Unsplash

Biker’s Prayer
© 2017 Bret Hesla

This is my prayer for the bikers I see
Everywhere on the streets of the Twin Cities
Sailing down the lanes painted just for them
As they go gracefully on their commute to work

Just a few years ago there weren’t that many riders
But then something flipped
And whatever it was
I would sure like to have some of it bottled
To pass out at certain powerpoint-weary meetings I’ve been stuck in

This is my prayer for the bikers I see everywhere
To give them a bit of a hill to coast down
And a safe slalom ride through the potholes, past prairie-coneflower yards
And a calm to ignore the occasional middle finger “get off the road” drivers
And I pray that an eight-color madness of beauties
Bless this city we live in and bike through

This is my prayer for the bikers I see
Those alien, helmeted pedalers
Beguiling the harried car drivers
to someday consider
The workout of going to work
in the fresh air of morning
And what a morning it is, when
those bikers, undaunted by sweet siren thoughts
of saving ten minutes by driving,
mount up after oatmeal and coffee
Don the green jacket, florescent and shameless
Tuck the right pant leg into their right sock, (how dorky)
And set off pedaling new days onto their life expectancy

This is my prayer for the bikers — us bikers
well, now that we’ve started the journey of slowness,
of “how fast I get there is not most important,”
Pretty soon we’ll start looking at the folks who are walking
and think, hmmmmm, what if I got up even a half hour earlier
And walked myself off to work
without needing to tuck in my right pant leg?
Until finally, that glacial commute of two legs on the sidewalk
Becomes so alluring and so irresistible
That we slow it all down, walk,
and spend even less time at the breakfast table reading the paper
and whatever else it was I intended to do
with that time I saved by getting to work faster.

To me, it all feels subconsciously right
As if three million years of evolution
might make more sense
Than a hundred bleak years
slouched in a faster mode of getting from point A to point B
For money to spend at point C
for food you bring back and eat at point A
On a brick patio covering what used to be a good-sized garden.

Reader: Catherine Malotke
Words by Bret Hesla.

© 2017 Bret Hesla. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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