local_library The Old Man and The Motorcycle

by Liam Rector

Published in Issue No. 44 ~ January, 2001

The old man had cancer
And the old man’s wife was dead
And the old man’s kids didn’t like him

So the old man sold most everything
And the old man bought a motorcycle
And the old man got back

To the backroads, to the roads he’d enjoyed
So much as a young man,
And the old man figured what the hell,

I’m sick I don’t have long I might
As well die falling off this thing
Somewhere: this affordable, this moving,

This very last roaring thing on these roads.

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Liam Rector is the 1998 recipient of the Pen/ New England Award. His first book of poems was The Sorrow of Architecture, and he was editor of The Day I Was Older: On the Poetry of Donald Hall. He has received fellowships in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has administered literary programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Academy of American Poets, Associated Writing Programs, and elsewhere. He has taught at Goucher College, George Mason University, and Phillips Academy and is currently the Director of the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He took graduate degrees from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He now resides in Massachusetts.