Homesick for a home that is no more (that never was?)
she sits on her blad­der on an over­land bus.

Starting off the inten­si­ty of a new expe­rience
had her take in eve­ry detail — the way white trunks
and expo­sed branches, veins and capil­la­ries
of a hil­l­side wood, rose to a green cano­py.

The dri­ver, for him but ano­ther trip, notes only
his out-of-the-ordi­na­ry. The way today
the moun­tains go ghos­ting behind clouds
that dis­perse, then coa­lesce ; then dis­perse . . . .

Enforced idle­ness of the jour­ney has thoughts grow
in her, and go round and around. She chan­ged — chan­ged
her hair, her clothes, her shape, her friends ; chan­ged her
mind, chan­ged her out­look. He didn’t. He didn’t.

Midday hori­zon cloud is stret­ched to a point.

Escaping man — away from the demands of home, away
from the tread­mill of time­tables, from self-impo­sed
res­pon­si­bi­li­ties and his one life disap­pea­ring
in dead­lines — dreams him­self on, on beyond this
ever-chan­ging hori­zon. One long and slo­ping field
has three trees gro­wing out of their green sha­dows,
a gorse-crow­ned knoll is sun-tou­ched green and gold.

Not one final straw, but a series of final straws
led him to the sighing rea­li­sa­tion that it was,
it real­ly was, time to go. Time to go.

The bus head­lights press for­ward into night.
Roadside trees lean inward
like salu­ting bones.

Dawn, when it comes, is as red
as a black dog’s throat.