bicicleta gratis

It’s an oddly warm afternoon on November 25-ish

(I don’t bother with calendars or clocks any more)
for a hundredth time
Yellow dog and I amble thru prairie dog hills and holes
To view TriState Canal

An essential feature in this desert land.
Still full to the banks with September’s

‘Once in10,000 year flood waters.’

like bizarre Colorado weather 

I find something peculiar there every day
It’s 70 degrees again
errant wave or county ditch rider
Has tossed a child’s bike onto the low bank weeds.

it’s a lost amphibian
submerged for months
Chain, nuts, bolts rusted but
Still rideable.

With my knees tapping my shoulders
And yellow dog laughing beside me
we must appear an odd circus act as
I balance treacherously for a block home
On a tiny child’s toy lost to raging water.
I wonder if anyone is watching

But maybe most everyone is used to me by now.

I tidy up the little frog
Oil the chains and bolts.
Except for the brakes

Like a little chameleon

it appears new
I am too lazy to take it to Goodwill
So I peddle it to JustDownaBlock catholic church
leave it in a ragtag children’s bike rack
As I walk away, looking back at the toy

I wonder what kind of world we live in?
Is the world basically honest
Or evil?
Are others out only for themselves
Or can a loose bike survive a day
In warm November breezes?

A week passes. Little Green
Sits alone still
I can see it from my picture window.

I feel restored by humankind’s honesty

I make a sign
‘Free bike
una bicicleta gratis’

(In my worst Spanish)
Paper flapping dangerously in the rising wind
I can see  dark wave clouds moving over distant mountains

A squall is coming
The next day, froggy bike is gone
Permission granted to start another life
My faith in humanity restored
At least in this neighborhood.

70 degrees suddenly

Flips to 17

In what I guess is two hours time
I can smell snow in the air.
In my mind I envision
Somewhere a pint sized person
Is sailing his ‘new’ bike
Wind through his hair.
the lack of brakes

Of no concern as
first flakes fly

 He doesn’t feel the cold
Just free.


  1. I liked it. The unsolicited test of human nature! A novel idea. I think I understand the poem.

    Years ago, maybe 30, I drove a woman, her daughter and son (about 8 years old ) to and from church on a weekly basis. One Sunday the son saw a bicycle a little ways from the church parking lot, “No one is watching” he said, “I think I’ll take it”. Faith destroyed.
    Then maybe 30 years later I received a message about a free boy and his new bike. Faith restored!

    “In my mind I envision ( myself. A ‘new old” bike cast off from a Rich relative for Christmas. Happy to learn to ride it, falls and all)
    Sailing my ‘new’ bike
    Wind through my hair.
    the lack of brakes

    Of no concern as
    first flakes fly

    He doesn’t feel the cold
    Just free.”

    ♥ I’m FREE, Dad, ♥

    Thanks for letting me use your poem.

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