THE CYCLE OF THEIR LIVES / AU day, now that summer's come, the children Drift by my window on their bicycles. Hour After aimless hour a small bright school of them Circles the block, nonchalant as exotic fish That barely ruffle the avocado depths Of a home aquarium. For the most part Their pace is regular--pedalling the rise, Cresting the turn, then floating dreamy-eyed Back down. Without warning one will break The circle, flash off on his own, on her own, The way they'll leave at last the homes They'll home to. If they see me staring They wave in passing--one hand jerky in air, Eyes colliding with mine an instant--then Steadying a slight wobble they resume their Instinct's occupation, drawing order from The tangle of their lives. Morning to night They're at it, while the gold-spoked sun Rides the blue rim of sky, and light sifts Through the hushed underwater web Of leaves, altering the air they swim in-- Silvergreen, oriole, buttercup, verdigris-- Yellow. Come mealtimes, their dreaming spell Is snapped by the cries of mothers: names Ring round the neighbourhood like bells, bringing Each one headlong home. Indoors they fret over Vegetables, their propped bikes glittering
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1987
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