The Cyclist’s Breed of Freedom

Cycling the five miles to work
under the blue sky of something like summer,
I see hundreds of cars going past me
in a blur of metal and memory.

The garden greens and reds of the traffic lights
hush me over and under the bridges,
past the parks in their vast quivering greenness
and I feel free.

Not free as a bird, perhaps,
but free as a horse on a carousel,
following a set path akin to fate,
but happy enough with that limitation.

Better to be me than the hordes at the roadsides
waiting like parents for the ride to end,
or the cars and lorries whose flanks I brush
but who can’t brush me back.

I’m a moving law surrounded by rights,
a microclimate
maintained by simple mechanics.
A reality let be.



Andrew Pidoux was born in Buckinghamshire in 1974. His book of poems, Year of the Lion, was published in 2010 by Salt. Since 2016, he has been living in China, where he teaches English at Guangdong University of Finance and Economics. He has had poems in Ink Sweat and Tears on three previous occasions.