Wednesday, May 18, 2011

evening commute

in the cool evening,
cooler air rising from
the creek i ride next to,
my vision is tunneled down
to the width of a headlamp

this time of night (when
streetlights illumine my way
and darkness encroaches into
the gaps, under trees and bridges)
the bike path is empty. the
hundreds i may pass on a weekend
are warm and dry, while I make
my way (white lights in front,
red flashers behind) back home
trusting the path beyond
my headlamp is clear of
significant obstacle

but the path turns out
to be blocked, partially ~
i speed by a snake, startled
into stillness by my approach;
flying down the hill, i swerve
to avoid a cat that escaped from home;
and just around the turn there's a
possum, crossing onto the golf course
each obstacle surprising me as the
periphery of my vision catches an
edge-of-the-headlamp glimpse

turns out, though, that
the snake is wooden,
immobilized by its former connection
to a tree trunk;
the cat, patches in the trail
viewed from one particular
25 mph angle;
possums scurrying into the bushes
nothing but the bushes themselves
lit on one side by my lamp,
creating shadows dancing
across the curve in the trail

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