Over my goose neck and half a block away--
geese: eight or nine goslings and three
adults, taking their time crossing
the sidewalk I was inhabiting. I know
their instinct of scooting off when they
see something coming (as crows flap away
from road-kill when a car is approaching)--
but not these geese...
within 40 feet, the big ones raised their heads
high, puffed themselves up with spread wings
and hissed; I squeezed my brakes a little,
thinking they'd hurry away, but within
20 feet they charged my wheels,
forcing me off the sidewalk onto
the grass, off the curb and into the street,
where a pickup driven by a guy talking
on his cell phone with a pissed-off
look and shaking his head
just missed me...
I hugged the curb with a quickened heartbeat
for the next six or seven bike lengths--
hating geese and pickup trucks--
then jumped my front wheel back over
the curb and onto the sidewalk...
by the time I turned onto the trail along
the river two blocks later, I was feeling
glad, after all, that for at least a few
moments that day, part of a city sidewalk
was owned by creatures other than
the ones who built it.