When mother went to sleep
in the afternoon I pedaled
my tricycle by yards and houses
behind chain linked fences,
along paths beside dry ditches,
through a vacant lot,
across the sidewalk
before tracking on solid
yellow lines parting asphalt streets.

I pedaled toward the mesa,
cars rushed from ahead and behind.
Unconcerned about my danger,
I rode through the slow hours
before a mother left her son in the yard
and ran to stop my tricycle
on the yellow lines, straddling
her legs on the big wheel.
She carried me into her house
and fed me ice cream before calling
the police who arrived a short time after
and took me home in their cruiser.

Through the back window,
I tracked the sun’s descent
through the final hours
to its splashdown. It sank
too quickly for me to join
others who went every day
to the evening party where
mothers put the sun to its sleep
while twilight children danced
on the tightrope of the horizon.

John Monagle was born in Claymont, Delaware and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. A graduate of New Mexico State University, he is a resident of Rockville, Maryland and works at the Library of Congress. He has been twice selected as a Jenny McKean Moore fellow at The George Washington University and has been previously published in Minimus and Wordwrights poetry journals.

Tricycle Trip in the Mesilla Valley by John Russell Monagle (c) Copyright John Russell Monagle; printed by permission of the author.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Thegreenj)

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