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Velocipede Verses #11: I Had My Helmet On

I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 36,000+ miles in the past decade or so. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.


What do you think happened to me?

I said

And sat further up in bed

A strange bed, too

I never knew

A bed could have so many machines and wires

And be made of steel and up on tires

Or wheels

Perhaps not enough rubber there to actually hold air

So maybe wheels is a better way to say…

But anyway

I digress

Where’s my watch?

I ask

And she’s sitting right there

Next to me, hands in her hair

Like she might pull it all out

Or she is ready to shout

And then does

You got in a bike wreck!!

And I have your watch

They took it off

For your MRI

And she sighs

And I ask why

She is yelling

And her head jerks around

It’s a different sound

Than I’ve made all day

And now walking my way

Is a nice young man in green

I say hi and offer my name

And he notes that it’s still the same

But he acts like I am not

And he’s gone like a shot

And then there are smiling doctors

And nurses

And a hugging wife

I’ve come back to real life

Home from La La land

I’m ready to stand

But they won’t let me go

They want to know

If my head still aches

And it does


I got in a bike wreck

So much yet to check

Not sure I’m okay

But earlier that day

I hopped on my bike

It was something like

Six-thirty AM

On the road again

For my daily workout

Before work

What danger lurked

Around some corner

We still don’t know today

But some way

In a right-hand turn

I crashed and burned

Road rash on my shoulder

Crumpled up like a manila folder

Which is what my dad

Used to call the Dallas Cowboys

And some other choice words

That shouldn’t be heard

In company mixed

But I was so lucky that twixt

My head and the road

A helmet bore the load

A tremendous smashing force

I might be dead, of course

If I weren’t wearing that thing

Cheaper than a ring

But more valuable by far

It now has two scars

One crack down the middle

Which almost makes me piddle

Thinking about it

Holy poo

And number two

It’s got a hole on the right side

It certainly did collide

With something hard

Not in a yard

But on some asphalt

Or concrete

When two things meet

At high speed and stop

There must have been a pop

That thing’s tight

That sphygmomanometer

My odometer

Read 32

Do you

Think I was going that fast

Do I need a cast?

Nothing broken so no

You’re almost good to go

But man oh man

You might have been a vegetable

Not the kind to eat

But the kind that’s sweet

And friendly

Kind of rhododendry

Nice to be with for a while

Fun and always with a smile

But not lucid

Nor aware

Not really there

But still here

Full of cheer

A shell of your former self

The picture of good health

In middle age

But instead of sage

Your advice

Is more like someone thrice

In decades your junior

Or younger, even

My wife then said

As I lay there in bed:

You weren’t leaving

For work when you should

It was also no good

That you didn’t know where the sugar was

Which is weird because

You make my coffee each day

You know the way

With three sugars and cream

But that didn’t seem

Like enough to be worried

Then I asked the now famous query

Are you going to work?!

And then you turned with a jerk

Asked what’s my job

And I said

You’re Chief of Staff, remember?

Since December

Or January

Around there, anyway

And all you could say


What happened to Pickle?

Who preceded you

And I knew what to do

Told you to sit

And stay

And don’t go away

I’ll get the car keys

Don’t move please

Some strange disease

Has taken your mind

I’m being kind

So not saying

But thinking and praying

I’m wrong

And we headed here

To Tripler Army Medical

About 8 AM

Intent to ask them

To see you and fix you

As I drove the car

Up the hill to get here

You wanted to steer

You knew the way

Enough to say

Turn here

And there

And everywhere

Want me to drive

How can it thrive

That part of your mind

But the others are blind

To who you are

And what you do

And why weren't you in a hurry

To get to your team

The Lucky 13s

And where are the condiments

And why did you scream in the shower this morning

A warning

That something’s wrong

I didn’t heed

And didn’t read

The signs when you came to our room

Woke me up and said with a boom

I rode 32 miles just now

There’s no way no how

You’re crazy I said

Rolled over in bed

Turned away

And you went off to the wet splash

Of hot water on road rash

But who knew

That you

Weren’t you just then

And now again

I wonder how you got home

So glad you didn’t roam

All over Oahu

Seeking a clue

A little while ago

I held your toe, you know

In that tube

‘Cause I couldn’t reach your hand

And you were scared

To go in there


I guess

What a mess

And anyway

You’ve had visitors today

They’ve all stopped by

They want to know why

And what

And how

But we don’t know

And so it goes

And that’s how it went

All day long

It’s now 4 PM

And I’m tired

Then she breathed

Almost a sigh

One that I

Am sure

Was of relief

After a day of worry and grief

That must have been long

And arduous

But I’m glad she was


And always will be

For me

And we will continue for long

To have fun

Our seasons in the sun

Like Terry Jacks said

In a song in my head

And also

I’m really super glad

I had

My helmet on

© 2020 greg cain

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