The child sitting on the bike.
Learning to Ride
by Rick Lupert

I don’t remember
learning to ride a bike

but as they say
I didn’t forget, so

it must have happened.
I was probably

five or eight years old.
Maybe ten. It’s hard

to know, and no one
was documenting

my life at the time.
Wait…I have a vague

memory of training wheels.
Yes. There were

definitely training wheels,
and then at one point

they were taken off
as if the training was over.

That may be the closest
I’ve come to being in

the military. Or maybe
that was my time as

a McDonald’s employee.
There aren’t any

pictures from that either
but I remember the training

in the basement of the
Temple City McDonalds

and I still have
the uniform.

PHOTO: “Training Wheels” by Natalia L., used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem in response to the Silver Birch Press prompt. As the poem indicates, I don’t actually have memories of learning to ride, but of course I know how, and now I’m concerned about all the other lost memories from childhood. What are they and where did they go?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His first spoken word album — Rick Lupert Live and Dead, featuring 25 studio and live tracks — was released in March, 2016. He’s authored 19 collections of poetry, including Professor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May 2016),  Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress, and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone WildA Poet’s Haggadah, and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. Visit him on facebook.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.