11 July 2008

Travelling On The Thumb (rev)


It wasn’t hard to do, you played the game
the simple way, took all the rides that you
could get with no regret – let shrinkage in
the easy miles provide a measure of success
strode grassy verges slow with thumb erect
but quick to curse the surly bastards speeding
past so close they near to spun you round.

The sight and sound of transport slowing
down from highway speed to eye you up
became profound relief – you were a thief of
driver’s time and yet the kinship of an open
road possessed a code as old as spoken word,
and when you heard, “Where y’ going, mate?”
from stationary car it mattered not if near or
far or anywhere as there you’d made a friend.

Carefree days at least for me and though
I’d been marooned a time or two, I never
felt alone. A traveller on the lonely road is
primed to see his fellow men a kindred soul,
inclined to want to share his time, speak
and hear and laugh in common cheer while
only those who fear the simple dignities
of fellowship will thunder by, faces turned
away; I wonder if it’s thus today?
© 6 April 1992, I.D. Carswell