Listen to poem:
The first bike I ever owned --
when I was ten or eleven --
was a Christmas gift
from a friend. He was receiving a new one
and I was gifted with his old bike.
He had cleaned it up and brush painted it
with a nice coat of red paint.
It was the only gift I got that year,
one of my only gifts as a child.
I loved that bike:
it freed me to pedal around so
I could accompany my friend
as we rode anywhere in our small,
sandy, two-paved-road fishing town.
Before the bike, I ran alongside him.
I was quite accustomed
to running everywhere, barefoot and,
especially in summer, shirtless.
Most years from first grade
until we were about twelve ,
we spent our time together,
at his house or in imaginary jungles
or wild, indian-infested wagon train trails
we defended from apaches
intent on taking our scalps.
Sometimes, on pirate ships, we manned canons
and repelled boarders with our swords,
and forced reluctant traitors and mutineers
to walk the plank for failures and misdeeds.
We were never bored , usually outdoors.
On jungle safaris we were frequently attacked
by ferocious lions and tigers and
often captured by cannibal head-hunters
who put us into large pots to cook us
while dancing all around and brandishing
their spears. They sang or chanted
amazing, invented language repetitive
verses overloaded with frequent "ughs'
and tongue-twisting nonsense phrases.
His mother served us gallons of Kool Aid,
gave us snacks we ate with relish.
With a child’s trusting nature,
I hoped this could never end –
I felt secure in friendship and
apparent acceptance by
my friend’s parents. Of course,
things did change.
But..........I did not.
Not for a long, long time.
Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2018