Robert Verdon, #335, free and chained

standing on the pedals

of my aunt’s green bike

helmetless and laughed at by some

caring only a little at that age

up and down Beltana and Kallaroo Roads

where we had come to live

on the edge of Canberra

which was much smaller then too

finding solace …

hum of wheels

bumps and puddles

the big dip near the culvert

(both long gone)

free and chained

better off than my grandfather

riding his boneshaker to the coal mine

at six in the cold morning.

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