Vox Populi

A curated webspace for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 16,000 daily subscribers. Over 7,000 archived posts.

Patricia Clark: My Father on a Bicycle

If you ever saw my father in shorts,
you wouldn't forget his stick-thin legs,
the knees knobby as windfall dwarf apples.
And the only time I saw him ride a bike,
Oakes Street, I think, he pedaled "no hands"
down the street to show me the stance.
He wasn't a runner either, thought he'd move
at a quick trot when trouble came to our door--
usually when the twins caught somebody's wrath.
Once they set an oat-grass field on fire, and trucks
came, red and furious down the boulevard.
Another time, after a morning of water-fat balloons
lobbed at cars, the cops shadowed our porch.
Our father was an ambler, a stroller, a tall stander.
I can see him, heron-alert, bare-headed,
the waters of the Satsop or Nooksack, the cold
Chehalis, up past his knees, casting a line
among boulders, deadwood, and drop-offs.
Deep, moving water his abiding friend.

Copyright 2022. First published in The Atlantic. Republished in My Father on a Bicycle (Michigan State, 2005).

Patricia Clark is the author of six books of poetry: Self-Portrait with a Million Dollars; The Canopy; Sunday Rising; She Walks Into the Sea; My Father on a Bicycle; and North of Wondering.

2 comments on “Patricia Clark: My Father on a Bicycle

  1. Sally and John Bliumis-Dunn
    August 25, 2022

    I really enjoyed this poem, Patricia!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim4true
    August 24, 2022

    Lovely, Evocative, Patricia.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on August 24, 2022 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , .

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 16,089 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 4,682,725 hits


%d bloggers like this: