Ding An Sich

She first escaped at twenty-three.
A bicycle, a battered van,
A life that she could taste, because
She sampled it, at her own pace and where.

She felt the wind upon her neck,
And her own tongue within her mouth,
The ache of stretching, working limbs
That carried her the whither she would go.

A weathered book of Kierkegaard,
A necklace made of icy gold,
And one September when she had
No answers, nor desire to provide them.

And who was I? Just one regret.
A place she’d traveled to, and cried;
A type of warning of the life
She’d never settle for in place of freedom.

So, now there is a woman grown,
Who owns a bicycle no more,
Who’s seen her own two daughters go
And wanted to impart this gift, this lesson —

But cannot find the proper words
To speak of strength in time alone
That do not sound like hectoring
Or lessons quaint and from an era gone…

For night means nothing
If you’ve missed the day;
And love is only possible
If you have your own self
To give

Away

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