Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Velocity of Moving Objects

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for Jordan

I wrestle
your bike from the van.
When did you grow
into such a thing?
I wonder
as you untwist the handle bars
and mount it, feet skimming the ground
of this old rail trail.

You wave me off,
legs bending and stretching,
a master and his machine weaving ribbons
of speed from light and air.

I have loosed you here,
where trains once tugged
through the woods like zippers,
and children climbed thick ropes
of wisteria, watching the spit
of steam into the Jessamine air,
the spiriting of cargo to faraway places.

I would have never let you play here.

Now the rails have been pried out
like splinters, this avenue
of pavement laid for boy travelers
like you, the sun biting your backs
as you hurtle, shrink
to heart-quickening dots.

It's no use to wave
my arms, my whistle—
too weak to ride the wind
between us.

You'll strike the bend soon.
Disappear altogether.

Libby Swope Wiersema‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in KAKALAK, River Poets Journal, Main Street Rag, Birmingham Arts Journal, CALYX, The Other JournalWherewithalJASPER, and others. She earned an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte and is the author of the chapbook, The Season of Terminal Cold. Mother to two grown daughters, she continues the parenting gig in Florence, SC, where she is raising her grandson.

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