At the end of the street she loosens up
and lifts a hand from the handlebars.
Her wheels describe an arc
slow as a wing-heavy monarch—no, more like
waitresses at the old drive-in
on roller skates, their bodies attuned
to the loveliness of a half circle ending
in a perfect stop.
They wore orange polyester uniforms like
ball gowns, and by suspending
turned drowsiness beautiful.
You don’t have to hold tight! I shout
(but what does she need me for?)
You can be loose and strong at the same time!
Do I mean that?
I want to mean that.
I want you to guide your life like this
one hand on the handlebars, the other
I want you to enjoy
a lazy kind of speed, the power of muscle
when it doesn’t need to flex.
I guess you know me by now, always
interrupting myself but another thing
I meant to say is you’ll grow
just by pedaling away
from where you came—me
in the driveway.
So here’s a coin, daughter
stamped each side with my love—
caution and prowess,
languor and adrenaline.
Take it into the world and spend it.