On Your Left
by Philip Dacey



“Coming on your left”--a biker’s refrain
when passing other bikers
on the path around the lake.

I’m on the right, hoping not
to drift into the path
of what’s coming on my left.

I think something’s been coming
on my left for years, and only now
am I beginning to hear it.

Sometimes the voice seems mine,
as if I’m about to meet myself
for the first time, passing on the left.

When I glance back, there’s nothing
I can see, but soon something’s coming
again on my left and warning me.

And now I’m wondering just when it was,
and why, the word “sinister”
stopped meaning, “on the left.”

The wheels turn, I pedal fast,
I’m close enough to one ahead of me
to say, “Coming on your left.”






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