No Hands

Written December 1996


I have always longed to ride bike with no hands
the way I longed to match
Mother’s perfect alto on a Sunday morn
when she sang into my ear
hoping her pitch would stay there, hoping her pitch would stay there..

It’s been years since I tried to ride no hands,
it’s harder than staying in tune
but under this clear sky, an old hymn comes back
and I still know the words
+++ my hands drop from the bars
+++ hands drop from the bars, and I am flying..
like that quickening I felt long ago
when Dad ran along behind the bike and then let me go,
and I coasted off,
absolved of all attachment…

Lyric based on “Riding Bike with No Hands” from Julia Kasdorf’s Sleeping Preacher,
published by University of Pittsburgh Press, ©1992, all rights reserved.
Reproduced by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

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