“The Rider” by Naomi Shihab Nye is from a group of suggested poems designated for this April 2019’s “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” Part of National Poetry Month and sponsored by the National Academy of Poets and the League of Canadian Poets, April 18th was the day this year people were encouraged to “carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event.”
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
–Naomi Shihab Nye (1952 – )
from Fuel: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1998