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featured poet, Alice Beer (1912 – 2011)

Alice Beer

How to learn to ride a bicycle

Find a quiet spot without distractions.
Every little stone may prove an obstacle.
Ask a friend to help by holding the bicycle.
Sit on the seat and turn the pedals
with both your feet. The idea is
to keep your balance.
Don’t look down at your feet, face forward.
Your friend will keep up with you.
Remember it is not as simple as it may look.
You will wobble, he will try to steady you.
Don’t blame him if you fall; everybody does,
sooner or later.
It is easier than you think.
It is much harder than you think.
You depend on your friend, but don’t
depend on him. Just bear in mind
it is his gift to you. If he has had enough
let him go.

Alice Beer

first published in The Rialto, Issue 55, May 2005;
included in collection Talking of Pots, People & Points of View,
2005, poetry p f, ISBN 978-0-9552040-0-5