Maultsaid, D. (2020). Double-cross. untethered, #52.1 Autumn, 2020. p.41
By Deirdre Maultsaid
I trudged through the hospital and out the bellowing emergency doors and then I fell into the cold hoar-frosted numbing late city night and left my mother where she was not yet sleeping in the hollow clanging, under the blocks of icy light, still gritting her teeth, so puzzled by her body, and the sheets too yellowed and worn to be a shelter and the bed too small to hold stories and she was finding out the true tale: she was on the mountain pass, scaling heights and tumbling down the scree, but her body, what a red place, what a ropy red terrain, unmapped, unknown, torching her with long bog-smouldering fires of dark orange veins that ignite in the gullies and run up the slopes, and she was still learning her dark worry and her blossoming agony and the ropes of her belay and her fiery girdle not yet her tango nor the swinging out and swinging back nor the balm of muscles yet a bridge or a bridge for a bridge. In the dark worry, over frosted grass, I clumped and I was dizzy or I was soul-frozen or I was nothing or I was yet at the nadir and I suddenly passed an old chestnut and the branches were pennants against the splotchy cloudy sky and the trunk was damp but there leaning on the tree was a bicycle, and strung on the bicycle were bright white lights and they were promising and the spokes were floating in the dark, or proceeding like gifts and I moved aside from myself and felt the tilt or the doubleness or the double-cross of the knobs of arms and legs and the deceitful knots of mountaineering ropes, not the solid knot, nor the double knot nor the harness nor the signals to protect and there before me the wheels were aglow, an antecedent to trouble against the dark, the handlebars proud, sire to light or mother to gems and ready for the zenith, and the bicycle glowed and I glowed and so we glowed like small luminous moons of peace.