SHIFTING GEARS

The time it takes to snap my fingers
seems longer than the years
since I first held my son
on a bicycle then watched
him make his world a little larger
pedaling down our street and disappearing
onto the next before returning
with a Lindbergh grin to our driveway.
It all seems less than a breath
ago as I watch him now at age 11
commandeer his roaring dirt bike,
80ccs of galloping Honda power
shifting from first to fourth,
rocketing up, down, and around
the hills, his smile the smile
of one born for propulsion
who could not be more different,
from his father who thinks twice
before taking an escalator.
He screeches to a stop and asks
if he can give me a ride
and my love blinds my fear
as I get on the back, my old bones
and butt already feeling each lump
and bump on the motorcycle trails.
How quickly it has come to this
shifting of gears that I, his father,
depend upon my son for safe passage,
that I now trust him as he trusted me
to steer through all the twists and turns
I put my arms around his waist as he revs
the engine, lets out the clutch and shouts
over his shoulder, “Hold on to me, Dad!”
and I do.

Edwin Romond

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