"First of the Winter Honkers"...

In honor of last Monday's night ride, I thought I would dredge this up from the slightly distant past:


From time to time in my past I dabbled in writing a little prose. The First of the Winter Honkers is one I penned in 2007. At that time I would get home from work, saddle up the mountain bike, and head into the hills for a quick loop or two (or three), up in the canyons of the Wilderness Park. Well, the park closes at dusk so, at the Autumn time change, I would break out the road bike, turn the lights on and do some street laps on this little three mile circuit near home. On the first of the dark nights that year, there was an encounter with one of those rude drivers we are all familiar with, which resulted in this:

The time has come,
The summer sun's early departure,
          and darkness slips in over the home trails, now
          before the time clock ticks five.
Time to slip on the lights
          and let wheels humm along
                    black asphalt roads,
Instead of rocky trails, beneath
          glowering street lights,
                    instead of sheltering sycamores.
A time of change,
A new routine,
          until Spring returns,
          a longer sun.
In the past week's waning light
          coyotes have howled in the canyons
          through which the home trails wend
While raptors,
          startled as I swoop down out of the dim of dusk,
          took flight with rapid beats of wings.
Sounds that mark the passing of the light.
Tonight came the first sounds,
         marking the return of the darkness
         it stole up on me from behind
         and let loose with a futile blaring
                    that first of the Winter's honkers.
Of course I cursed him,
          salutations with the appropriate finger
          and briefly thought of giving chase, but
          his tail lights quickly grew smaller
                    in the distance
That ignoble denizen of the Winter road,
The first of the Winter's honkers.

copyright 2007 Michael Wagner

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