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Critical Mass

Lifted their bikes up-
side down above
their thousand
heads and
locked the grid
blocked the inter-
section shut
the whole East
Village down
cars jammed
against that
stopped moment
that break in
time's flow
nothing moving
to go unless
inward until
the helicopter's
searchlight shook
the air and cops
a couple kids
to set example
hauled off
a truckload of
others forced
apart the forces
that swirled
together there—
but what I still see
are the wheels
held upward
spoked with light
freed from
the pavement
spinning into sky.

John Brehm

Help Is On the Way
University of Wisconsin Press

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