17 May 2017

The Music of Rush Hour


Image titled 21201 18
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Stuck in the irksome largo called rush hour,
we admire bicyclists’ allegro sprint to home and shower.
They weave across lanes of traffic, barely glance at
red lights and stop signs, but watch for sharps and flats
key to their ride.  We close windows and turn on air,
change the station on the radio and, with great flair,
nestle into our comfort and look for their flaws
grump at their freedom and defiance of laws—

But all the while we envy the daring and strength
it takes to navigate busy byways at length.   
and imagine ourselves instruments fit enough
to ride along, sleek and sweaty and tough.
We say a secret pledge to find our bikes of old,
restore them and ourselves, take heart and grow bold.





My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast


14 comments:

Old Egg said...

I must agree with the envy of their ease to negotiate traffic but secretly glad I am too old to take such risks as they do. My heart drops each time one is near lest he be stupid and swing out in front of me...but I am still jealous.

Gillena Cox said...

Yeah, I know "the stuck in the traffic" scene very well. Nice write. Thanks for a great prompt. Happy you dropped in to read mine

Have a nice Wednesday Susan

much love...

Khaya Ronkainen said...

A spot-on depiction, Susan!

Thotpurge said...

Envy and fear both..in Bangalore's bumper to bumper chaos, you want to be them and are also terrified the car will move an inch and run one of them over.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

A bike of old. Is that all it takes to restore ourselves? Pardon me, while I start looking for my old bike!

indybev said...


My neighbors have a bicycle built for two, and every time I see them heading out for an evening ride, I am overcome with envy! I wouldn't want to ride on in traffic, however! Love your poem.

Martin Kloess said...

Nice poem. Although I bused to work, Arlene and I enjoyed many-a weekends on our bikes. We have many great bike paths.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I remember an entire decade when a bike was my source of locomotion. For pleasure, far out into the country. But also for necessary shopping. I remember riding home precariously, with a tree waving on the back seat of my bike, and peering through a bunch of leafy things in my front basket, and people in passing cars smiling at me. It is amazing what that bike carried home for me. Smiles. The family would set forth on outings, me in the big bike in front, my youngest perched on the baby seat behind me, the three other kids on their bikes strung out behind me, like ducklings, and how we sailed through intersections...........sigh. Good memories. Sparked by your poem. Thank you.

zugswang said...

The days of bike riding are far behind me, but the envy still lingers. Like that you find a desire to grow bold from that encounter,

Elizabeth

Rob Jackson said...

Bike envy!

Jae Rose said...

It takes a lot of courage to be a courier - I loved this poem

Panchali said...

" Stuck in the irksome largo called rush hour,
we admire bicyclists’ allegro sprint to home and shower.
They weave across lanes of traffic, barely glance at
red lights and stop signs, ..."

The picturization is mesmerising, Susan! Here's one reason the biking boom is great for everyone living in big cities.Though, in some situations, it gets a lot worse, where we don't have separate lanes for bikers.:)) Lovely poem!

rallentanda said...

This is a very well expressed poem. Like the musical dynamics references. I think bike riders have a death wish.. either that or they
recklessly stupid. I know two people who have died and two who have had accidents and I dont know that many people.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

This is wonderfully said, Susan! I thoroughly enjoyed your playful, smart rhyme! I can sometimes make out the faces in the cars and most of the time they look stressed out and don't want to take the seconds it takes to stop and let a bike pass. Still, there are plenty of smiling faces in cars that wave me by while I smile back. Your closing stanza was right on and my hope is that more people do just that and find the fountain of youth that I've found.