The Nightly Trip
Here's the nightly trip again as you drive along
the serpentine Bangalow to Lismore Road.
Another session of flak from bitumen: python bends
reproaching carelessness, the antithesis of a freeway.
Headlights startle around a right-hand curve, another pair
follow, appear fade, appear fade, appear fade..
Is this where it happened? Two lights like snakes'
eyes appear in the darkness behind and rise as if ready
to strike. Just as quickly, they turn off and disappear.
Suddenly blue lights slash the fold of night, scream past.
Was that the sound she heard while lying on broken glass?
The wind soughs the reptile scrub as the road slithers over hill,
through valley. No matter how often you drive this road, you never
get used to it. Highbeams knife around a right-hander, pixelate
eyes, push strain. The steering wheel falters as the tyres cross
the double lines. Was that how it happened? Eyes now alert,
the heart yearns for the meditation of straight blue metal.
Lismores' lights wink as the car wheels the final curve.
Blinkers tick-tock the last intersection, tyres hiss to a halt.
Ahead the lighted hospital calms the injured night.
- Peter Mitchell 2015
Peter Mitchell is the author of the poetry chapbook, The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press, 2009). He lives in Bundajung Country (NSW), writing poetry, short fiction, memoir and literary criticism. His poetry has been published in international (India, Singapore) and national print and online journals, magazines and anthologies. In 2014, he was awarded the Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship for Poetry (Varuna Writers' Centre) and, at present, is writing a memoir, Fragments of the Lurgi: A Memoir (Artist with Disability program, Australia Council) using long narrative, poems, journal entries, letters and quotes.