There is a bicycle, propped against a post,
halfway along Clermont Road.
Classic features: sprayed green of colour –
military – mud guards warped but still
cutting a half-shimmer on a startling
January day, two hours past dawn.

The seat, you could say old-fashioned,
oversized and cushioned; the handlebars, a
chic cream plastic, once immaculate –
it’s all retro here.
The wheels are caving in,
it’s been here for what seems like years –
since before I arrived South.

A regal-looking bird (stork or crane?)
for a cross bar crest.

But it’s the khaki I like best;
pride to the fenders, the coating
fends off the Brighton winter –
now the bitty-looking bike can
become one with the wooden telegraph pole –

At high-commuter times, briefcased men
and umbrellaed women, bound to and from
Preston Park,
pass by and think nothing of it –
the bike.

Christy Hall