Tuesday Poem: Thoughts of a Bicycle

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Of course I am only a machine
And full of natural frailty.
My tyres go soft,
My chain drops off,
My brake blocks wear out,
And as for the eternal saga of my lights …
It’s really very human.
But I would ask you to remember
That I contain molecules of iron
That once formed part of a naval gun
That was fired in the Battle of Trafalgar;
That my paintwork is called Fjord Blue,
And that only 120 bicycles of my series
Were manufactured in this colour;
And that my bell rings
At D two octaves above middle C,
A mere 2 Hz off concert pitch.
I would ask you to remember these things, please,
The next time you ride me straight off the kerb
Outside the newsagent’s with that girl you fancy
And onto those appalling cobblestones.

By Jonathan Steffen

First published in Joshua’s magazine Issue 4, Spring 2015

Photograph © Jo Wilson


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