I have my first poetry stone. It was painted and given to me by Irene Latham, friend of many talents. Artist and art educator Mario Gallardo of the Walnut Gallery brought Irene back to Gadsden last week as part of the Walnut Gallery Poetry Series. Mario was kind enough to share Irene’s visit with us at the library. So, in addition to Irene giving an amazing reading at the Gallery, she also conducted a children’s poetry writing workshop and an adult/teen poetry writing workshop at the Gadsden Public Library.
This poetry stone makes me think of a bike I once had.
Magic 80s Red Sears BicycleThe day you were given to mewas the day of a spring snow.When I got you back to school,all the kids gathered around to admire.Or so I thought.I laughed along with the jokesabout Pee Wee Herman.And then, I ran the kids overwith my vintage white-walled tires.
Now, I’m sure that initially it seems as though I'm speaking about a bike I had in my youth, because that is plausible. I rode a lot of bikes during the 80s. But the bike about which I write is actually a bike that was given to me in 2005 by a coworker of mine at the Warren Tech horticulture program in Golden, CO. The bike had belonged to Jim Foster's daughter, and he gave it to me because I wanted a bike to ride on the streets of my Denver neighborhood, and he wanted it to go to a girl who would use it.
The day Jim gave me the bike was very much a snowy spring day upon which we had taken our horticulture students out for a landscaping field trip. We stopped by Jim’s house to look at plants in his landscape. As we passed through the breezeway from his front yard to the back, I noticed the bike and commented on its metallic red beauty. Ever generous, Jim loaded it up among the students to take it back to school so that I could haul it back to my apartment.
The kids, students with whom I had worked very closely for the entire school year, did indeed rib me good-naturedly about my bike (several of the boys had let me ride their bikes around the parking lot earlier in the year, so we had a history of bike riding between us). And yes, Pee Wee Herman jokes were made at my expense. However, I did not run them over with my vintage white-walled tires. But I thought about it long and hard...