TWO ON A RICKETY BICYCLE
by David Kramer
Hey, thanks. Let me show you the house.
The ruse of the forgotten pen.
From when they exchanged numbers that evening at Jeremiah’s.
Her children now at home with her sister
Eating Reeses and Nestles Crunch.
Look, seniorita, a Cuban flag bought last August
When Obama established diplomatic ties.
Going to fly it right next to the American flag
On Independence Day.
Up against a certain wall,
Back to a certain chair,
Her on my lap,
Leftover Halloween candy,
In a bowl on the table.
* * *
The Healthy Relationships Seminar done.
Skylarking home on the Canal Path
Under a purple evening sky
Making purple water.
Two Asians on a rickety bicycle.
The same two as before and before.
He gangly with glasses, in back.
She, perched almost on his lap, in front.
Pleasant, short, more plain than not.
The same couple, for years now, swooning and looping
The Canal Path, the Lehigh Valley Trail, the Genesee Parkway,
Riverside and inland.
He whispering to her in Chinese
Or Talagog. Or Esperanto.
Or is it even words?
The single encounter at the municipal tennis courts
That is not me watching them on their bicycle.
The cheap used yard sale rackets,
The found balls fuzzless and soggy,
Black socks and Walmart tennis shoes.
“Hey, I think I’ve seen you guys on your bicycle.”
The returned stare as blank as this page before I started.
“Do you go to school here?”
We grew up in China
My husband grad student in Electric Engineering
Live in Whipple Park.
Back to forehands and backhands
Plinking into the net.
Funny, she and I never have played tennis like that
The way we talked about.
David Kramer has a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. Over the years, he has taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. Also a former but still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. David has published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in the The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Providence Journal, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY. His site can be found at: https://talkerofthetown.com/