The Lesson
by Anita S. Pulier

I tilt my small frame from side to side
hunting for smooth air,
searching for balance.
I feel my father’s steady support
as he grips the seat and runs alongside.
Then inexplicably something clicks
and Dad, once a fatherless child
who grew up without a bike, releases his grip.
I am on my own.
Later, in triumph, he confesses:
never learned to ride a bike,
never been on one.
I file this information
for future processing
allowing that small girl
to stay focused on adoration
of an omnipotent father who repeatedly
ignored fear of the unknown.
Now, Dad long gone,
I risk awakening dormant grief to recall
learning to ride the beloved Schwinn,
the colored streamers on the handlebars,
the lessons learned
far beyond the task at hand.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Mom on a bike in Alley Pond Park, Queens, New York (1940).  Photos of me were lost to a flood in our Forest Hills basement.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After retiring from her law practice, Anita S. Pulier traded legal writing for poetry. Her chapbooks Perfect Diet and The Lovely Mundane were both published by Finishing Line Press. Anita’s poems have appeared online and in print in many journals.