It wasn’t a fence we wanted to jump
but a bridge we wanted to ride.
Every man, woman, teen or toddler
in Abilene went down low water
bridge one way or another.
One time, a kid rolled his trike down
&got a spanking from his Grandma
when he got home. Bigger high school
boys tested their skateboarding skills
down low water, pushing aside worries
over washout holes &no helmets.
Another time, a man put his VW bug
in neutral to see if he would come out
on the other side without any juice.
Even I rode down low water almost
every single day on my girl’s bike
with two quarters tucked under
my fingers to pay admission to the
swimming pool on the other side.
I had my terms: I’d pull up hard
on the handlebars, gain enough speed
straight-up pedaling like a devil or else
get off my bike &walk in shame
with one of mom’s bath towels hanging
around my neck. If it didn’t rain, if
low water didn’t get washed out I mean,
I’d pedal to swim in the pool, or else
I’d swim &fish for crawdads right there
in Mud Creek. Either way, Mother Nature
wanted my feet to get wet that summer.