I discovered this poem when I started teaching at the age of 22. It was in a book of poetry called, if I recall, Gift of a Watermelon Pickle which sold absurdly well for a collection of poetry. This particular poem transfixed me, and still does. Not only does it sum up so much of why motorcycles are so engrossing, but when I was fiteen myself I had a similar experience. Enjoy!
South of the bridge on Seventeenth
I found back of the willows one summer
day a motorcycle with engine running
as it lay on its side, ticking over
slowly in the high grass. I was fifteen.
I admired all that pulsing gleam, the
shiny flanks, the demure headlights
fringed where it lay; I led it gently
to the road, and stood with that
companion, ready and friendly. I was fifteen.
We could find the end of a road, meet
the sky on out Seventeenth. I thought about
hills, and patting the handle got back a
confident opinion. On the bridge we indulged
a forward feeling, a tremble. I was fifteen.
Thinking, back farther in the grass I found
the owner, just coming to, where he had flipped
over the rail. He had blood on his hand, was pale-
I helped him walk to his machine. He ran his hand
over it, called me good man, roared away.
I stood there, fifteen.