Miles Away in Time
The houses streaming smells of showers and fresh scents
condensed and distilled in the cooler morning air.
Paddocks of grass, fields of corn, glistening tar-seal,
black to purple sky, …the main textures of the dawn.
The quiet pop and crackle of a motorcycle throttle closed,
Blue flame licking on chrome, excess fuel alight, bright.
My red strobing light astern, casting eerie shadow forward
making legs play at dancing on the road aside me, I am not alone.
Smoothest asphalt, a molehill coinciding, the purr of the chain,
the peel of the tyres, mortar and pestle knees, thick dewy air
huffed-puffed-snorted, roars of distant trucks,
beeps and bleeps of earth moving machinery, distant, all recognised by ear.
Do you remember that late summer camping, just me you, Commodore, tent?
All around the beaches we drove, how many nights under the nylon we spent?
I got cousin-Ben’s Gump sequel book wet, it crinkled and swelled,
I see it now on the back left brown velour seat, pangs of regret.
Why camping with Dad? Ah, Riverlea hill coming, deep memories, steep,
Your blue Healing 10 speed, you work commute fit, my red Panther BMX
and jumps off school stairs and ledges: I’m no match for you on Russell Road,
My tears hot streaming down my face as you grind ahead of me, gapped.
Fuck, was that twenty-five years ago! Here I am, my own foil ahead,
I must not change gear, I must not relent. Burning legs, hands, sweat,
You taught me, didn’t you, I just didn’t know it, until yet, my blue Peugeot,
and me, and this hill, and riding, to work, and not letting up.
Bawling that I couldn’t catch up, not that you wouldn’t wait.
Tears well spent.