"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson


Written by Naomi Shihab Nye
She lives in San Antonio, Texas, USA

Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions
from Fuel: poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1998.

The Rider

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Posted with consent of the writer.

7 Comments:

  1. Catvibe said...
    Fabulous!
    christopher said...
    Thanks for this one, except now I can't easily use the idea.
    WHY? said...
    I relate so easily to this piece. It would be nice if we could outrun our loneliness. It always catches up in the end though.
    joaquin carvel said...
    deftly executed - an almost audible sigh - i want to find those azaleas....
    RachelW said...
    I can relate to this one, very much so. And you have put it so well. Thank you!
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Naomi Shihab Nye - wonderful to see you here. I heard you read at the Dodge Poetry Festival last fall. I was bowled over by your work!

    Your poem starts out pulling at my heartstrings. Those first three lines...ah!

    So beautifully rendered - so full of sentiment! Really wonderful.
    Karen said...
    Beautiful! I love the idea of fleeing from lonliness. Unfortunately, lonliness travels fast...

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