Ed Pryor (Commended)
Oundle School, Cambridgeshire
I drive onwards boxed in the metal room,
an engine’s croon the only sound.
White lines fly past like swallows migrating,
a seatbelt shackles me to the strain.
To my left my instructor says “Watch your gears”
and I move down
from fifth to third.
Rain bickers at the windscreen, wipers sob,
claw at the glass. My mind drives off,
away from the road’s straight lines.
Memory takes the wheel from me,
hands the gearstick to my eight year old self,
and I am back, standing with my brother
in front of the metal wreck like scrunched paper,
windscreen a cobweb of cracks and lines
(before my father’s hands cover my eyes),
where the anonymous two have collided with the verge.
I will never understand how those two
came to swoon
at the side of the road,
damsons spat from their mouths,
red summer fruit from their ears,
waiting for the ambulance sound.
“Watch your gears” my instructor says again and I move up,
from third to fourth,
skywards with the accelerator.
white lines rushing past like swallows
as we slowly pick up speed.
- Date April 20, 2016
- Tags 2016 Wonder - Winning Poems