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.