The Bike Shop

The plows have done their work and then some

as I coast the washboard lane to a bike shop

where the sign on the main road says I can also

purchase peach preserves and tractor parts.


A bell on the door brings a black retriever

and the sound of slackening metal pawls

that says a wheel has just been left to friction

and its own kind of true. As the owner goes

to the rear storeroom to dig out the tire

I need – “we don’t get many Italian bikes

in here” – the room regains its equilibrium.


Behind the counter around a repair stand

sit a space heater and a knot of men


on folding chairs. Their Pennfield caps predict

laments about the price of milk or scolding spouses,

but it seems they are debating when

to stage a bike race for the younger kids

up Pump House Road to an apple orchard.


A kind of liturgical calendar is unfolding

with a bicycle feast made moveable by

an annual Florida vacation when two border collies

with the run of the hill will be at a kennel, which

means in turn that the date for a mud sale

is on hold, and maybe an April wedding.


A few deft twists secure my new tire to its rim,

and I push my bike back down the aisle and into

the cold with a slice of warm air against my chest

and a fresh sense of the merits of invisible fences.

Ed Granger lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he was raised. He has worked in the non-profit healthcare field for the past two decades, following a stint as a professional journalist. He now writes as a serious avocation while also serving as half-time dad to a nine-year-old daughter. He has had poems published in Little Patuxent Review, River Poets Journal, and The Heron’s Nest.

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