The Woman Who Biked Up Coffeen Street Hill

There is no question of her cycling

Up the hill; she has no upscale concoction

Of carbon-fiber frame

And painstakingly engineered gear-ratios.

Her bike is a single-speed Schwinn

Of as uncertain vintage

As the woman herself,

And she walks it,

An occasional spoke missing,

The paint chipped here and there,

Up where she once climbed

In a ’54 Chrysler convertible

Next to the man

She later visited at the TB sanitorium

Which sat at the top of the street,

Two sons giggling and bickering

In the back seat—the boys

Long since gone, having fled

The snow and the downsizing

For other climes—but now

She peddles around Massey

And State Streets for a bit

Before she coasts back downhill,

And sometimes drivers glare

At her (she is, to be fair

Something of an impediment to traffic)

And carfuls of kids or soldiers in convoys

Headed up to Fort Drum

Will heckle her—Hey, lady!

The Tour De France was last month!

She no longer has any interest in

The stares or commentary;

She is focused on the bottom of the hill.


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