Poem with an explanation: The pedals turned

The pedals turned

The pedals turned.  The creak began.  The rhythm was like background percussion to a song.  Around the turn, the shade disappeared, and the sun shown bright.  Another turn, and the pedals turned, but with a sense, that they were bound, by rubber bands.  Past the place where the opossum died, past the place where the dog runs out, past the place where the grass is high, and whips what gets too close.  Out of the cave, and into the open, at some point a sense of relief.  The creak is still there, warmed up and even more consistent, but the rubber bands have been loosened.  The road is long, and cars drive by, and thankfully seem to want avoidance.  At the end, another road.  Long too.  Shorter, but seems longer.  Then at the red sign, a stop and a check of the number – only four.  Only four.  The pedals turn.  Difficult after the stop.  And a place at five where shade and quiet are is sought.  The moment of pause, in the shade, where no cars are.  The shirt gets adjusted, the shorts get adjusted, the legs stand, and then relax.  The pedals turn.  Over the bridge, past the water with the green lilies, and back to the road.  It’s longer now, in the other direction.  Six.  Another red sign.  Only six and a half.  Lawn mowers hum.  They block the creak and make a cocoon.  Around a turn.  Looking for eight.  Only seven.  Up the hill.  Going down is fun.  Up the hill.  Pedal.  Pedal.  Pedal.  At the top, around the turn.  Creak.  The rubber bands are back.  Then a turn.  Down a small hill – not as fun as the large.  Then a turn. Eight point five.  Near the end.  Where is ten?  Near the end.  Nine.  But only a half.  Up the road.  Checking the number.  At a point, spin around.  Back around.  Almost done.  Finally the pedals stop.


This poem follows a bicycle ride.  It is in part based on reality and in part based on imagination.  The reality comes from a combination of times.  In some ways the poem is a train of thought poem.  The thoughts flow along with the imagined ride.  The poem was written in a style to stress the imagery and to have a certain ambiguous quality so that different levels could be read into the poem.  Like many poems, the lines have a literal meaning, but they also could be interpreted by a reader to have metaphorical meanings.