Over another Hump

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Letter to a Travelling Companion.

Prizewinning Painting 'Almost Forgotten', painted by Sandra Wilson, 2005 and printed with her permission. I think it works well with this poem I wrote to farewell a favourite old car of my own. The only time this car refused to start was the day we took it to the tip. We had to tow it away.
Letter to my Travelling Companion.
Dear friend,
How often have we jolted over this busy road,
steel rails embedded in blue bitumen?
While morning mists engulf us,
and ghost trams rattle
we dice with erratic traffic.

Sleepy fruiterers, trucks laden with pumpkins,
cabbages and apples, cheerful horns busy,
dodge fish vendors’ freezer vans.
Fresh from markets they race to tempt
customers with the day’s specials.

Thursdays we waft past fragrant florist vans -
Interflora, secretive, enclosed, sterile:
others flaunt exotic palms, tubs of brilliant
flowers and share their perfumes with us.
In spring we carry boronia scent to work.
We pass factory workers at change of shift,
yawning, in uniform denim, chatty t-shirts under jackets,
stomping feet to beat dawn’s chill.
Grimy and puffing long-awaited cigarettes,
they hail the day shift who clock in.

You excel at traffic lights, your engine purrs,
we leave sedate silver models
standing in our smoke,
smoke that finally must part us -
so the condemning citation states.
Today is our last trip. Registration is due and,
though your body is sound,
you are a dinosaur, a guzzler of gas
impractical to convert, say those
who haven’t travelled with you daily.

Tomorrow we will tow you to the dump where
body snatchers, like vultures, wait to strip you.
No doubt I will pass your grafted parts along
the route we travelled, cream fender attached
to coloured body. I’ll salute you in passing,
a passenger where once a pilot.


4 Comments:

  • youth clothes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 PM  

  • Lovely! Some great word imagery here. Evocative.
    So pleased you could use this picture.

    By Anonymous Sister, at 2:36 PM  

  • Greetings. Reading this poem, I can smell the flowers and the cigarette smoke. I can see the beautiful colors and the grey mists. Very nicely done. Good to be back to visit.

    By Anonymous Mango Lane, at 6:33 PM  

  • aaawwwwwh...we become so attached to our cars so much they get us to where we are going and rarely fail us. Reminds me of my ole sea foam blue 65' vw Beetle. I felt such a lost when it was gone. It was my first car and my very favorite car..like my "bud"..lol..sigh..

    Rhiannon

    By Blogger Rhiannon, at 10:02 PM  

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