The poetic city: “Riding Out The Pandemic  4/4/20”

Pandemic metaphors. (Photo: Wiki)

Editor’s Note: The following series “Car-free Commute” is a week-long series curated by Erica Casareno as part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Insitute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities.

Car-free transportation in the Big Easy is hardly ever care-free. For the New Orleanian without a car,figuring out the best mode of transit from home to to the grocery can feel as challenging as choosing what recipe to make. Amid time-shortages, potholes, frequent showers, and Louisiana heat, choosing the best form of car-less transit can be tricky. This grouping of articles explores and appreciates the different forms of transit in New Orleans, no driver’s license or car necessary. Reece Burka writes about the experience riding out the COVID-19 pandemic on bicycle in this poem, originally published on NolaVie on April 6, 2020. 

Riding Out The Pandemic  4/4/20
I am riding a one-speed bicycle on Causeway
heading towards the river from the lake.
I am pedaling hard as the traffic zooms by me.
I have no idea how I got here or what I am doing here.
The danger is real.
I am tense but not panicking.
I figure if I stay focused, pedal, and keep my eye on the road
I will get home eventually…
I wake up several times… then fall back into the dream.
So I pedal, pedal, and pedal…
And, I wonder,
“Is this what it is like to be 75 and riding out a pandemic?”


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