M6 by Sarah J Bryson

Childlike I want to ask, How long now?
Are we nearly there yet? -
but not enough, not quite enough

to make me actually say something
not enough to spoil the surface tension.

You are the driver in control of it all;
the clearing swipe of the wipers
the speed of the car, the lack of conversation

– you’re pressing onwards, focussed
to arrive in one piece

before something else happens
in that hospital room full of monitors.
I see the muscle tight at the turn of your jaw.

The noise of the engine and the road is all there is.
No music. No radio, just us travelling

so I watch the motorway spray as it dries, white
on the windscreen, obscuring the road in front
before it is swept away, and I watch the verges flicker by

the approaching traffic, headlights on in daytime
the blurred red lights of the cars in front

and then I see, through the wing mirror,
a long, low, slit of light as it breaks through
a bank of solid cloud.

It lends a queer iridescence to the trees ahead
emerald against graphite skies.

***

Sarah J Bryson is a part-time poet, part-time nurse and amateur photographer. Her poetry has been placed in competitions (e.g. York Mix) published in anthologies, (e.g. The Book of Love and Loss, eds RV Bailey and June hall) journals (e.g. Prole) and online (e.g. The Stares Nest, Good Dadhood, and Ink, Sweat and Tears.)

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