Jonathan Davidson

 
 
 
 

A Lady Cyclist Learns to Cycle
(England, 1917)

They led it round the garden and yard
on a long rein.
They fed it oil.

It was black as my jet black boots,
heavy as a gate.
It ticked, shone.

Climbing on it, I felt it shy,
lunge beneath me,
clatter to earth.

They held me up, the men, laughing,
shouldered me round,
gentlemanly.

The guns of Passchendaele bellowed.
The men held me.
It shook, I shook,

but when they let go I did not
let go, but moved
forward, shouting.
 
 
(from Moving the Stereo ISBN 0948282126, Jackson’s Arm, 1993 and forthcoming in Selected Poems, Smith/Doorstop 2013)
 
 

Jonathan Davidson’s second collection, Early Train, was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2011. He lives in the English Midlands.