For Poets United: Mid-week Motif – tricycles, bicycles, unicycles


Supposed to write about bicycles.
All that comes to mind is you.
One of the first poems
you’d ever written. Brought it
to me so uncertain. All about
first bike, the one with training
wheels. How one of them broke.
Instead of fixing it, father threw
it away, and you were left alone
to find own kind of balance
and precarious alignment.

Your truth wrapped in metaphor.
And I? Just a door you chose
to walk through, now forgotten
for the most part. A frame
you leaned on for ten years,
until you found your balance,
and another, far more precarious

Elizabeth Crawford 5/17/2017

Notes: Title is a word from chess meaning: a situation in which a player is limited to moves that cost pieces or have a damaging positional effect.

Image is from the internet.




About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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11 Responses to Zugzwang

  1. annell4 says:

    I don’t remember a bike with training wheels, I don’t think I got a bike until I was older, and we had to find our balance.


  2. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    How precarious are human relationships!


  3. There seems to be a story hidden within the lines of your prose, a bit sad perhaps. An evocative read!


  4. Susan Chast says:

    If I had an image like that stuck in me, I’d think of it every time I saw training wheels or a bike. The chess game is more subtle, but they work so well together!


  5. oldegg says:

    No training wheels for me but plenty of bloody knees and elbows and scrazed hands. Sometimes the hard way is the quickest way to learn.


  6. Sherry Marr says:

    Profound lines about being the frame a person leaned on for ten years until finding their own balance, however precarious. I remember when my training wheels came off and how terrifying it was to zip down the street that first time.


  7. jacksr7 says:

    I think there is much more to this than just a memory about learning to ride. Like the idea of learning balance.

    Welcome to Soul’s Music, Jacksr7, and you would be so very correct.



  8. Thotpurge says:

    Precarious alignment… a great poem Elizabeth.. the feelings are all there… a kind of sharp acceptance. A balance.


  9. Jae Rose says:

    What a great word – but unenviable position to be in – ‘we’ can certainly relate 😉


  10. My Dad was my frame. Beautiful poem, Elizabeth.


  11. There are all kinds of balancing acts we have to achieve in life. Riding a bicycle might be the easiest.

    Lol, Bekkie, as an individual who has been ‘defined’ as a bit off balance, more than once, I’d have to agree.


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