A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
—Naomi Shihab Nye, from Fuel: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1998. Boa Editions, Rochester, NY. Copyright 1998 by Naomi Shihab Nye.