Monday, June 22, 2015

Sheila Packa: "Not Forgotten"

I learned to ride
the two wheel bicycle
with my father.
He oiled the chain
clothes-pinned playing cards
to the spokes, put on the basket
to carry my lunch.
By his side, I learned balance
and took on speed
centered behind the wide
handlebars, my hands
on the white grips
my feet pedaling.
One moment he was
holding me up
and the next moment
although I didn't know it
he had let go.
When I wobbled, suddenly
afraid, he yelled keep going—
keep going!
Beneath the trees in the driveway
the distance increasing between us
I eventually rode until he was out of sight.
I counted on him.

That he could hold me was a given
that he could release me was a gift.

"Not Forgotten" by Sheila Packa. Text as published in Cloud Birds (Wildwood River Press, 2011). © Sheila Packa. Reprinted by permission of the poet. This includes permission to archive.

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Curator's note: Here in the U.S., yesterday was Father's Day. But around the world it was also summer solstice. I chose to postpone the Father's Day poem until today. Enjoy! 

Art credit: "232:366 vintage schwinn kids' bike," photograph taken on August 19, 2012 by Kimberly Knight.



  1. Sheila, your poem blossoms beautifully, the ending just fans out all the cards, and the love in your heart

  2. Those last lines--perfect tribute to love of and for a father.


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