"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.


  1. Catvibe said...
    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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