A night detour to avoid the steep sides of the Downs

Blindfolded by your mother
you do not see the high moon,
whole villages behind pickets of wasted trees,
their captive churches. The white road
slow between the darkness and the Christmas lights.

Without God or fear we carry you,
and each mile brings us closer
to a motorway junction, the
black hospital approaches swept and salted,
its illuminated helipad blinking red for blood.


December’s morning start,
your light poured cold
like milk onto the floor.
A nurse smears gel against
the nub end of a sonicaid
and probing finds your sign.
Be-dum be-dum be-dum.
Unmistakably your sign.
The time has come to spring you,
my green heart!

Whatever names I might give myself
there is nothing I can do yet.
At the ward window I stand
and watch a service vent
pour plumes of gas and air
dancing un-boned
into the world.

On the motorway cars slip
like winter birds, in flights,
and one by one,
be-dum be-dum be-dum,
wearing their own grime,
each one a life doing its best
to get somewhere
be-dum be-dum,
on this beautiful morning,
on every morning until you die.

December 2010

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