Every time I turned
the wheel to slip
into another lane, pass a car,
avoid a hole,
he pitched from side to side
like baggage,
offering no adjustment
to the sway.

Never ridden in a vehicle
before, I asked? No,
he replied, lurching,
his head banging
against the window.
Only trains or busses,
he explained.

Sway with the conveyance,
I advised,
to avoid racking yourself
against its steel.
He shook his head.
No, he said,
that’s not the way.
We lost contact long ago,
but I search for him at protests,
because where else
would he be,
this citizen
who did not sway
with the machine.

—Barbara Gregorich, Chicago, IL