Little girl cycling
by Renee Emerson

She doesn’t have to learn anything
just yet. Only glide,
pump the pedals, the bike
kept upright with training
wheels winging out
from the back tire.
A spot bare up front
for basket and bell,
not bought yet
from the local Walmart.

Helmet-capped Hermes,
suddenly so long-legged,
she skims the streets, curls
through the cul-de-sacs,
stops the once-white treads
in tufts of crabgrass
by the driveway, where her
youngest sister takes first steps.

I don’t remember anything
about learning. Only that
when I took off, I never waited
for the others, pedaling hard
behind me, circling back
to places I would never return.

PHOTO: “Little girl cycling” by Nomad Soul, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My oldest daughter, Susan, who is four years old, has started riding a bike with training wheels just this week. She is fearless. When we walk through our neighborhood, she pedals ahead of us, savoring this first taste of freedom, just like I did, when I had my first bike.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Renee Emerson lives in Arkansas with her husband and three daughters. She is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing), and can’t wait ’til all her daughters can ride a bike.