Breda Joyce

Pedalling Backwards

When I visit my uncle in respite

he shuffles closer to the door, complains

no one will repair his bike. He needs

to cycle home; he’d take a taxi

but can’t afford the fare.


He sits across from me, dismayed;

no one listens or understands

that he must go back. No one

can see what he sees tangled

in the past.


His bicycle chain has been derailed;

he struggles to reset the links

that took him here. His feet trapped

in slippers far too loose; they trip him

when he tries to pedal

his way back.



Breda Joyce lives near Cahir, Co. Tipperary and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from U.C.C. February 2020. Her poem, The Guardian of the Wheel was shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin Award and longlisted for the Over the Edge Award 2019.  The Bee-Smoker and Murmuration above the Peace Line were shortlisted for the Hennessy Award 2019. Slán leis an Airc was shortlisted for The Kinsale Literary Festival 2019. Her poem Free Fall won the Judith Aronson Likeness competition, April 2018. Breda has had poems published in Crannóg, Crossways, Skylight 47, The Galway Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Bangor Literary Journal, and The Quarryman and in the forthcoming Kilkenny Broadsheet 2020.

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