Friday, 27 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 020


Five minutes earlier

and she would have missed all this traffic;

would have managed more than a tree point turn

in the road she'd lived on for twelve years

(going on thirteen, seems like a lifetime)

and a fifty-yard crawl to the school gates

where breakfast battled mothers

drop recalcitrant sulkers from the capsules

of air conditioned, cushioned four by fours

where the nearest they see to difficult conditions

are the wet leaves from roadside sycamores

and the sobbing, urine-soaked pushchairs

of the chain smoking, council-house mothers

hurrying across the road

to get their Wednesday night lottery ticket.

Five minutes earlier

and she would have missed all the suited gents

in their starchly morninged shirts

and splash of colour ties;

those heavy coated, pavement jostling

student brickies and hairdressers

crowding the bus stop and dashing through traffic

like raindrops in the ears of squalling babies,

ear pods blaring with the foul-mouthed utterance

of new age of record-spinning celebrities

too young to remember vinyl

and what the abbreviation EP stands for.

Five minutes earlier

and her brown-stained, coffee flavoured flask of tea

would still be hot from the kettle

and not warming her lap in the brake-screeching nightmare

of horns and screams and too much blood.

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