by Ladee Caid
A poem of a cold commute.
Cold Bicycle Morning
I roll my bicycle through the front door
With stars dotting the dark morning sky.
There is no wind; the atmosphere is still;
My neighbor's windows are black, and I sigh.
The swish of my leggings cut the silence;
My frozen porch cracks under my feet.
Trampled snow coats the sidewalk,
And the streetlamp lights the white covered street.
I flip on my lights at the end of the stoop
As I ask myself, why not stay in bed.
I pull down my hat, wrap my scarf a little tighter,
Resigned to the cold ride ahead.
Over the uneven sidewalk my back wheel ticks.
From the alley, I access the road.
Knobby tires provide traction in conditions not great,
Following grooves where night traffic flowed.
My wheel fishtails and slides as I round the corner.
But that is not a concern.
A gust blasts and whips and touches my face.
My exposed cheeks are starting to burn.
Desolate houses stand quietly as if no one's within.
Frost encased cars slumber at curbs.
Am I the only person awake at this hour?
Am I the only creature on earth?
My breath becomes heavy, and my thighs start to torque
As I pedal up the slight incline.
I get close to traffic with civilization
After crossing the railroad line.
I wait at the stop sign for a break in the movement,
As autos and trucks zip by.
When the opportunity happens, I traverse to the sidewalk.
At this section, I'm very street shy.
At six below zero and an unrevealed sun,
Who'd be out at such a time as this?
None in right mind on two skinny wheels,
Could think this be traveling bliss.
But I find it splendid, these surroundings of mine.
It's my own personal quirk.
I love to ride my bicycle in all kinds of weather.
Besides, I have to get to work.