The Tricycle

by pam rosenblatt

The large black pedals on the red     

Tricycle rotate, push along the cracked,


Weedy surface. It travels downward,

Bounces off the ground,


Turns left onto an uneven lined gray

Concrete, a map of high


Tides' run overs and seashells. I pedal,

Pause, pedal again. Wild waves


Snap, break on the rocky shoreline.

I'm the toddler captain, steering through


Tire-worn coke cups, tattered candy bar wrappers,

Lipstick marked cigarette butts, empty cigarette


Cartons, away from cooing pigeons on the

Slanted gray-black roof, attached to my family's


Purple-gray house. A seagull soars in the topaz sky,

Drops, crashes a clam on the sidewalk


Right by my three wheeler. Long, thick fingers grasp

The silver handle bar. My black leather pattens


No longer turn pedals. The hand now navigates.

We reverse, plow through trash and seashells,


Over broken pavement, back up the sea-torn

Land. The three rubber wheels churn shells, sands,


Pebbles. The tricycle stops. I stumble off, hug

My suit-with-tie wearing father, then see pink and white


Balloons with gold letters, tied to the house's

Front door handle, wiggle happy birthday!