Poem: Goodbye Company Car

“Who can say, how far away this train is bound?”

Anais Mitchell, ‘Santa Fe’, from the album The Brightness

 

Goodbye company car.

The click of shiny keys in shaking hands,

Nerve-wracking thrill of spiral slopes

Descending. Stories ending on time.

Timing quick, and precise.

The diminishing of lies.

One at a time.

 

To tell the truth to thousands

In an instant. The thrill of witnessing,

And being an honest witness.

Approaching anyone and asking

Simple questions:

“Have you got a spare cigarette?”

“Do you have any phone credit?”

I’ve got a story to file,

But I can’t tell you about it yet.

 

Protecting sources, scores of forces

Rising against us like tidal waves,

Washing away all trace of your faces.

I’m suddenly alone in a city of strangers.

Trying to reclaim my sense of safety and home.

Suddenly alone.

 

As if the last three years were little more than daydreams.

Dreamt by someone barely me, anymore.

Those thousands of little hugs and cuddles.

Soft clothing, warm and cuddly, lying on the floor.

Our home, our home, our home is no more.

I must find another home on my own.

 

Suddenly alone.

Goodbye company car.

Searching for places with free parking, despite the current lack.

This is only a temporary set-back.

I’ll bounce back. I am a lead balloon,

I am a tuneless tune.

I am a conduit for the news.

It passes right through, like the air I breathe.

Like the rustle of trees.

Familiar even here.

Who knew there were places in spitting distance of London,

So bright and calm and green?

 

ends

 

(c) Ana Hine, June 2017

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