The pedals have been slipping
under her booted will to turn corners,
stretch into longer and longer afternoons.
Not one notch, or two, but three
full clinks the top-tube lengthens,
the bike adjusted, for now,
to this lanky new girl-body.
Fingers are counted upon, words slip
from her lips like pigeons spiraling,
white-bellied notes above the wire.
I do nothing but hold
back. These growing pains
are like the stretch-marks I didn’t know
I would one day welcome,
a map to trace the moments
between coming, going
and soon-to-be gone.