Encounter (This Motorway's Mine)
Encounter (This Motorway’s Mine).
A black crow struts down the central reservation,
pecking at the remnants of undefined road-kill.
The white dotted line stretches out forever –
reminds me of the perforated slip on a tax form –
something that’s required but causes great effort
to tear along regardless, and sod the consequence.
A lemon-curd sandwich, parked in the lay-by,
switches on its camera and zooms for a close-up.
I glance at the dials and press on the brake pedal –
even though I’m under the legal requirement
a pang of guilt eats its way into my conscience
and many miles later I’m still checking in the mirrors.
Steve Earle blasts from the in-car CD,
tells me of the trials of travelling The Highway
in sun-bleached Memphis where the black-top’s melting –
while here on the Pennines the sleet is falling.
My mind is out there on a black and silver Harley,
not cooped up in a Nissan with a whistling windscreen.
A red BMW pulls up to my bumper,
its lights ablaze and tyres screaming.
His hands don’t seem to be in contact with the wheel –
one tugs at the hair, while the other is waving,
erect middle digit thrust in the air –
the universal badge of a brain-dead schizo.
I subtly avoid his bulging eyeballs,
veins that stand out like worms on a mirror.
He wants to hurt me, to torture and kill me
for being in the way of his manic agenda -
and as he hurtles by, doing ninety miles an hour,
I switch on the wipers and slash away his slush.
The overhead signs demand I slow to thirty,
roadworks ahead and hazardous conditions.
Despite all the warnings, some will not listen.
As I draw closer, I’m not surprised to see
his burnt rubber path clearly visible -
leading to a blazing, crimson coffin.
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