By Kristi Bowman
I’m sitting out on the back porch of the volunteer center here in Shreveport, Louisiana listening to the cicadas saw out their evening rattle-tunes. The sun is setting beyond the hills of this porch and slowly, slowly the world is turning from day to humid, southern evening to dusk. It’s been a long week, but we have arrived somewhere… again. It is good. Tonight we get real-for-sure bunk beds to sleep in complete with fresh sheets and fluffy blankets. And we get to sleep in those same bunk beds for three whole nights in a row! The greatness of this fact is really indescribable. Also, it is great that I probably won’t need to sit on my favorite bike saddle for another two whole days before we ride again. I do love my bike so, but "Charley" and I do a little better when we have some alone time now and then. True story.
Alright, well I think I am past-due for writing another poem, so here are the rough scratchings from my soul this evening. I hope you all had a lovely Saturday and that your Sunday affords you rest. Peace to you!
Biking to Shreveport
The sun is dipping down beyond
the hills of this porch and slowly
the world is turning from day to dusk
to slow southern evening: thick and
velvety-dark as sweet, sweet tea.
The moisture-laden air is laced through
with rattle-tunes of 17-year cicadas
and the brush of wind. To travel
is to make your home anywhere, any
corner in this softened world.
Tonight it is a top bunk that rocks
when I climb the ladder and cradles me
afterwards like the softest nest or the way
cypress trunks nestle into the waters of
the bayou. These days the breath
catches a little in my throat and pauses
at the gracious c-curve of a great
white heron and the way she rises
from the water like praise ahead of
the moving green and blue.
I wonder at the way she lives forward –
looking only at the cattle grazing or
the reflection of sun on water or perhaps
at the sight of her own shadow.
I marvel at patience and the trust
it demands – waiting, moving one
foot forward with all the resolve of
your very best day. And then moving
the other. This is the only way anyone
gets anywhere worth going, really:
Start something. Continue to move
until someday you glance back and
notice the miles stretching behind you
like ribbons in every color imaginable.
So bright you forget every cramp in
each muscle of your thigh. See the night
sky is navy now, stretching down to cerulean
on one horizon and chocolate on the other.
Nothing, nothing is more precious than
this sky and these feet and the road ahead.
One of the many reasons why bikes rock: Bridge out? No problem.