Friday, 2 September 2016


I sit in the passenger seat  
amongst empty cars,
neat tombstones
abandoned by their dead.
A new perspective:
I'm always the driver.
Do I look like a woman
waiting for someone  to return,
switch on the ignition,
steer me out to somewhere
that is a nest where eggs are laid?

I stare into the wing mirror,
watch people park and shop,
come and go,
my swimming bag on my lap,
fiddling with goggles as if  ready to dive.
A woman  drove into the river once,
dropped to the bottom,
a perfect stillness,
engine drowning,
water pressing, 
until, like a burglar,
it broke in and stole the air

Cars crash. Like us.
Victims of their drivers.  
Not far, a man drove into a tree,
airbag like gossamer,
car boot flung open,
a wedding dress spilling over roots.
A policeman made the sign of the cross.
The aftermath of being human. 

A man with two lamps and a dog  
limps to  a convertible, perfectly parked.
How long have I been here,  
watching transient tribes, 
hauling bags, pushing  trolleys,
loading and leaving without sorrow?
No one says goodbye to a car park
unless it's home.  

From your  new, cold country  
you said you had a car.
You imagined me sitting beside you
and now you have flown in, 
ice on your wings,  
settling into the driver's  seat,
turning up the reggae,
We are speeding.
You change gear, proud,
both of us laughing at the freedom of the road.
We never had that.
Look at me,
perfectly poised, alone,
pretending I'm  a passenger,
pretending you are here,
imagining what can never be: a journey.

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