BSA 441

Silver and yellow, dragon colors,
one pounding piston to rattle
your bones. Shattered more than

one license plate, 288 pounds of
power, muscle machine, lifted that
front wheel like it had wings, sweet

machine with a decompression lever,
to start pull in lever, one down stroke
kick, then, as you go for the lightning

midway through the second kick hard,
let go of the lever, and if it didn’t kick
you back, you rode, if it kicked you

flew. Anyone who asked to “take it
for a spin”, I’d shut the machine down,
step back and say, “If you can start it, you

can take it for a ride.” Most times I’d
just sit back and watch as that 441
kicked them like a mule. I knew

only a biker could start that machine,
took me a while; I remember, in the
shop when I bought it brand new

the big bearded mechanic showed me
what to do and then stood there smiling for
a half-an hour while the bike schooled me.