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Cycling to Work

Emma McKenzie

Day 1

On the first day I take the roads due to a heavy frost. The air is sharp in my lungs, the streets are glittering. My bicycle wheels skim over frozen ground. Careful now, careful.
Green punctuates borders between houses. Frosted grass and leaves pierce the air, spiked, fragile.
Trees line the roads, old friends greeting me, a nod to my daily journey. The old London plane tree gives way to a thread of silver birch. A thin line of beauty lost in the borders of a car park. The Rowan tree is all but spindles without leaves. The world feels like it is holding its breath, ready to burst when Spring fully arrives.

Day 2:

A heavy fog has settled. I take the river path, cycling fast under lime trees that lean towards the riverbanks. The river is lost within the mist, an empty blank. Silhouettes of bare branches look pencil etched against the whiteness. My wheels spin, but everything else feels eerily quiet. I breathe in the stillness before hitting the city streets.

Day 3:

Spring sunshine. There is a bright crispness to the world, like that of a sliced acid green apple. Sharp and tangy. The world has woken up. My bike wheels hum, shwmmm, shwmmm, shwwwwm. A flock of pigeons startle me, bursting from the rafters of a bridge as I skim underneath. I hit the terraced streets where spuggies (house sparrows) chirp from every roof top. Two magpies chuckle to each other at the edge of the park. There is so much to take in, a bright eyed blackbird skips ahead of my tracks.

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