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First Bike
by Mary Jo Balistreri

All the kids in the neighborhood had bikes. I was ten, and without a bike. My grandpa
often watched from the front stoop while he smoked a Lucky Strike. He didn't say much.
My parents said he'd been crushed by the Depression. But one day, he lifted a brand new
hot pink and white Schwinn from his truck. For you, he said. My grandpa, who never
talked to me, who only played sad songs on his violin, had bought me a bike! Thoughts
raced through my mind—Grandpa was kind, he did love me, and he wasn't just sad.
Inside him, bright colors bloomed.

in the quietness
of dawn
the sun's blush

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