Cycling in Chennai

Srilata lends me her bicycle-

its faded purple frame, rusty gears

threadbare tyres begging me to love it,

begging me to sit astride its bum-sore saddle

and take to the highways of the college campus;

 

follow the road flanked with trees, trees

sundrenched trees, and deer, deer 

searching for food in overflowing bins,

birds riding the waves of their dappled backs;

 

follow, follow, follow the curve, faster

faster into the breeze, past students

cycling in twos and threes,

and as we pass each other by

give them the secret nod that says:

 

hail universal tribe of pedal pushers;

hail kings and queens of forward motion;

hail the triumph of our journey.

FROM THE FORTHCOMING 'TWENTY-SIX LETTERS OF A NEW ALPHABET''

Cycling in Chennai Read by Anne Tannam
00:00 / 01:31
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