Driving Lessons

Driving along under an open sky
In our own sweet special way
The air is free
The world is wide
Till we hit homebound traffic of a Sunday

They flash in the rear view mirror
Those bastards trying to overtake
Ahead a swarm of brake-lights flares
Round tail backs and delays.

So our leisure begins to wear us out
Just as a press on the peddle pushed us back
Over what we’ve covered and yet to cover
Acres of implacable tarmac.

So much for progress. Why don’t we sell up?
There are houses I’ve seen from the car or the train,
Tranquil, secluded. We could retreat
From this bumper to bumper rat-race…

And so I go on, till you point out
That all my supposed vistas of escape
Are next to a rail track or motorway.

I put on the indicator,
Push into third and pull
Into the fast lane

What’s known is over.
What’s gained is lost.
Ahead of us it’s only hearsay.


Peter Jukes 1989

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