published in Fire No. 24, 2004
031X and What Moves Moves
Press, 2004. ISBN: 1 904886 05 1
The Bicycle Garden
graves of children who go missing
abandoned bicycles set in concrete
lowered into shallow trenches
the railway bridge and left to rust.
engineer (retired) who tends
place says visitors are few—
imagines parents driving slowly by
peering through the wire-mesh fence
a particular shade of paint or rake
handlebar, but they don’t come in.
there it was, this gaunt tableau
BMXs, racers, mountain bikes,
aged Vespa with its fairing crushed,
tricycles with tassels tied to handlegrips
crossbars, where they stayed, seeming,
those who looked, to rise up from the ground
sink into it. You turn away—
there’s no such garden, though
bicycles are often all that’s found.
end-page columnist invented it,
it seemed to him society
waging war on being young,
children who enticed and let you
So he dreamed a garden for them,
the engineer was somehow odd
to make the whole thing real,
sleight that left its maker lying
the silence in his ears, as if
violence had been done.