Ghost Bike

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Contributor: Christine Jackson

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From the back seat,
I glance up from my Twitter feed
to catch
a blue flash in the car headlights.
My Uber driver blasts the horn.

"You see that kid?" he says.
"Almost turned his blue bike white."
He pulls the car onto the highway.

"I’ve seen the white bikes around town,"
I say, "painted all white, even the tires."

"Ghost bikes," the driver says,
"chained around a bench or stop sign
where a wise ass kid
thought he could outrun the light,
then his luck runs out.
Neighborhood ghost bikes
mark where the kid spent his last second
on earth. Don’t know why."

I say, "Maybe if one kid sees it
and thinks twice,
there won't be another ghost bike
on that block."

From the front seat,
a turn signal ticks
off seconds in the silence.
The driver says,
"Me, I think about the folks of the kid
who won’t come home again.
On my way to work,
I pass my own boy’s ghost bike.
Every damned day."

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Christine Jackson teaches creative writing at a South Florida university. That is, she is supposed to teach, but no doubt learns more from her students than they do from her. Her poems have appeared in many online publications, including Ekphrastic, Remixt, and Verse-Virtual.


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