it's not good or bad it's how you get around these
tiny hedged-in lanes that criss-cross town
maneuverable only by bicycle because the larger
roads are for sheep and cows who have to move
together is a brief season when there are two ruts
in the mud instead of one but rain romancing always
leads to rust and that of course leads to one place only
hope there isn't a waiting list and a reprimand
waiting when you arrive at the repair shop smile
and speak quietly and give your explanation
it is not a place for banter go to the barber
these men were all once like the boy I knew
would end up here when I watched him
run the bicycle chain along his chin to see
how it felt bumpy he said I said you have grease
on your chin fooled around with a shuttlecock and left
it at that     he doesn't recognize me turns away
murmuring to enter the back room to enter
the back room is every non-apprentice's dream
no facts but lots of rumors that the vicar has the firstborn
lamb shorn to pad his seat that Mrs. Stavely once slashed
her own tires in a fit of pique which is why she doesn't
have one now she walks with a cane and is a lesson
to us all this is possible but what of the stories about
that room and the bicycles upside down on benches
and those men with the clear eyes and hands in their pockets
singing and the spokes all spinning in response