Just another journey

Today I passed the Malvern Hills – mini Alps – skies storm-washed, pre-sunset.  Low sun streaming in my eyes.  The man on the radio said there’s trouble again in Sudan.  You told me someone said it’s safe – ok to put people in.  What are experts anyway?

 

The Malverns remind me of a dream.  The one where we’re walking over high paths like drovers and pack-horsemen of old.  The whole world is up there – coming through the turnstiles in the valleys with tickets to roam from town-to-town.  And we make it over one more pass before the light goes.

 

I agonise leaving one home for another.  A broken-hearted mother.  Freedom tears my heart.  Rain hits the windscreen and I push down hard on the gas.  Death is somewhere up ahead and I’m drawn to meet it.  There’s nothing behind but suffocation.

 

Left York eleven-fifteen.  I’ll make Bristol by three.  God-willing.

 

I’ve driven these roads for thirty years.  Pushed my luck.  Bikes, vans, lorries, this little rotting memory of my dad.  His first and only new car.  A life-long dream.  All those three-day-weeks, sweating over strikes at Fords.  Extra shifts and weekends when he could.  Thirty years pushing off – swinging a leg over his bicycle at five-to-eight.  Coming home at five.  Rusting and hustling down the M5 at eighty-five through the spray.

 

And the Malverns stand back-lit by sun spilling beneath a water-coloured sky.  We walked on there.

 

I think about Victoria Falls, wishing I was with you.

 

Copyright Kevin Buckle 2013

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