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September 23rd – Lay-bye 2

September 23, 2012

I’ve been mulling over a series of poems about a group that doesn’t normally elicit much sympathy. The Journeyman. I define this group as men of a certain age who realise that working life is about getting through. Providing for those they support, hopefully because of love rather than just duty. That compromise is more real than idealism. That the spirit can die. You know, cheerful stuff!

Anyway. I suggest that whoever you are, the next time you find yourself driving during the normal working week, take a look at those male drivers in Lay-byes. Some of them will deserve your sympathy because they are lost men.

 

Lay-bye 2

He sighs
unable to move
paralyzed in the layby.

Enough
His defeat rimmed eyes
stare beyond the
fly mottled screen
where blades
have smeared
insect essence
into funeral fans.

Past
the burger van
with it’s hand painted sign
Bingos breakfasts
tattered union jacks
dethreading,
cholesterol prayer flags
unraveling in the
lorry bashed winds

Through
The counter
propped up by
belly vast men
corseted in high vis vests
sausage fingers
engulfing steaming
polystyrene cups

Beyond
the dirt caked
lorry sprayed verge
where piss and litter
mark the boundary undergrowth

His eyes travel
Above
an apple core seeded tree
to see the Kestrel
motionless
hung in the air
determinedly
shunning the
gravity that
crushes his slumped shoulders
his chilled hands
with anxiously gnawed nails
cramped around a long forgotten cup.
The kestrel
energised by buffeted wind
the same element
that seems in such short supply
in his tin womb
where fresh air is
swapped for air freshener

Unfocused eyes swing down,
too heavy to lift

This eroded man
ground down
no longer
determined
sat still.
What once was rock
reduced to grains
that no longer travel with purpose
wishing for the wind
to carry what’s left
away.

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