10-Line Tuesday

March 19, 2019

Franklin Avenue in March

A woman in her late 40s is making her way through traffic, bright yellow sneakers
flat against the pedals of a bicycle that once took her down the California coastline.
You can still catch her mooning over that trip - the relief of a pint of strawberries,
the climb up Quadbuster, the swishy palm trees greeting her in Ventura - but here,
on the busy, bumpy pavement that marks the far end of town, she’s gone further back
than that. She is five years old in a red cotton dress with flowers at the hem, pink feet
in buckled leather sandals, coasting on her first real downhill. Maybe it’s because it’s
the day before spring, or maybe it’s because it’s true what they say about bicycles, or
maybe it’s the way her feet rotating on the pedals look like two small suns, beaming
at the drivers beside her, saying hello to the world again, or as if for the first time.