Breakaway

Breaking away

Today
This sunny Sunday lane
Is our own private
Tour parcours
Complete with mimicked Phil-and-Paul
To lend us greater speed:

“And now
The leader
In the Best Young Rider competition
Makes the move
On the inside –

The gap’s opening up –

And the champion
Must respond to this:

He’s digging deep

Let’s not forget
He’s the oldest man
In the race,
So you’ve got to ask;
Has he got the legs
To counter the attack
And close it down
Or are we about to see
A new era ushered in?”

Of course
If I chose
I could go
Straight over the top of her;

But, smiling, I permit
Her cheeky breakaway to succeed
And sit on her wheel;
Training for the big attacks
And moves I cannot answer
In the stages still to come,
Knowing that one day I’ll have to watch her
Head up the road alone.

Written after yesterday’s ride with my 10-year-old daughter, who seems to have inherited my competitive streak on the bike…my fault for encouraging her to watch Le Tour, I guess. For those who haven’t been glued to ITV4 or SKY for the past three weeks, ‘Phil-and-Paul’ are the dynamic commentary duo of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, who have been the ‘voices’ of cycling to British fans for over 30 years.

First week away

Counting down

At three
She’ll be home:

An hour remains
Of this week in my own skin
Before I assume the shape and antics
Of Daddy once again.

I should spend
These sixty stolen minutes
Savouring the peace
The lightness of heart and head
Freed from questions
Relieved of needs –
Live a little longer
At a grown-up pace.

But I’m waiting.

Quiet has become
Silence;
Space, emptiness;
Liberty, the lack of her.

And for all I wish her
To go free
Explore
And seize her world

Mine is flat
When she’s not in it
To give it roundness
And horizons.