Karin Koller’s ‘Bikes’

Karin Koller
It was a time when children free-ranged on pavements
binding friendships based on games and pecking orders
and bikes. My big sister leading the way
on her green two-wheeler, stopping to pass orders
back down the convoy: Roger with his stabilisers
who grew up to run a coat-hanger company
and become the most boring man in the world to all
except his wife who had a long history of forbearance –
followed by Roger’s brother Martin on his large red trike
Martin who was hopeless at maths
but opened a shop called Belt & Braces
and ended up a millionaire, and then Tony
on his silver scooter pushing dreams of fame
till his one-hit Under the Smile of Love
reached number 56 in the charts for a week
and at the end of the line my little sister pedalling skew-whiff
on the broken metal trike, the one with tiny wheels
and a single right handlebar – the bike which lasted
forever, and which we all loved best.

4 thoughts on “Karin Koller’s ‘Bikes’

  1. Michelle Post author

    Dale, if I remember correctly, Karin wrote this in half an hour during a workshop. I sat there thinking how did she manage to get it so right in 30 minutes?

  2. Lucy

    I love this! Bikes are so intensely evocative of childhood, the memory of them brings a whole host of other associations. And it is funny!

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