This year turns into an ever-decelerating series
of slow-motion car crashes.
But they don’t call them crashes anymore, do they?
Certainly not accidents.
A concertina-like catastrophic cacophony
of unsyncopated sudden percussiveness,
coming in at the wrong time
in the wrong place
in someone else’s journey.
I see parts of myself in the squeeze-boxed bumpers,
while other parts stand at the roadside with a cigarette
looking at their phones.
This is our usual procedure:
hi-vis civility and the scene of a fireman in full regalia
applying a broom and sawdust to the surface
of a major arterial route, now blocked.
Other occupants get cut free,
whether liable or not,
willing passenger or not,
reluctant pilot or not.
Rubber necks and stony hearts pass by,
slightly slowing down,
where the cast of the rush hour soap opera
played out the latest predictable episode.
Where are they going?
Where is anyone going, anyway?
We take these things from the vehicles:
mismatched sports socks,
faith in the future –
redeemed from their earthly life
in cube form at the breaker’s yard,
the last now completely
People stop talking to you.