The Motorcycle Queen

for Bessie Stringfield

You said you took God with you to all 48 states.

You caroled your grief on an Indian Scout,


rode your Harley until the crowd forgot it was a motorcycle,

saw a stallion riding the track wall,

breaking for a field’s freedom.


You wanted a story you could tell

about surviving America on two wheels,


six years too early for the Green Book.

But I understand leaving.

I’ve been looking


                          to see the world.

Copyright © 2020 Tyree Daye. From Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Used with permission of the author and Copper Canyon Press (