Vector seamless pattern with flowers, bicycle and text "Hello summer".
We Learned to Ride Together, You and I
by Elizabeth Alford

for Maelani

We learned to ride together
You and I

I was ten, you were seven
When spring cartwheels
And somersaults
Turned to two wheels
And asphalt

Turning circles
In the parking lot
Handlebars ajar
Knees skinned and raw
Before we learned
The true meaning
Of balance

Oh, if only we still talked

That parking lot…
My god
How empty it seems
Even now

IMAGE: “Bikes and flowers” by beskovaekaterina, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Maelani was my best friend from next door when I was growing up. We lost touch after she moved away a few years later.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Alford is a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, East Bay (B.A. English, 2014). She lives in Hayward, California, with her fiancé and mother and co-hosts the reading group Poetry Express, based in Berkeley. Her favorite things include yerba mate, sushi, loud music on long drives, staring at the stars, and short poetry. Her work has recently appeared Silver Birch PressHedgerow, and Failed Haiku. Follow her poetry adventures at