Friday, 13 March 2015

Poetry Interlude

I was finally convinced to join a "sundowners" evening ... that last hour of the day when caravaners gather in small groups to solve the world's problems. The group I joined talked the usual stuff - kids, grandkids, price off fuel, politics etc until we dwindled to four of us and one of our number dropped into the  conversation that he had escaped from East Germany by jumoing from a oving train as it passed through West Berlin!

Sundowners and Shadowlands

In the longer shadows of the orange hour
they gather to report stories
of the day's best coffee
of the week's best view
of the month's best site
of the trip's best fuel price

They background check through questions
and answers
given in caution
until the second wine soaks
wafers on loosened lips:
communion for yesterday's strangers

Soon an hour is filled with children
familial anecdotes
pride, despair, joy, exasperation
as their generation gasps
at successions unexpected

Bragging rights expended
the asphalt passengers drift to camp kitchens
or small galleys in fifth wheel lounge rooms
leaving the rough riders of longer roads
to their back pages
and idyl heresies

As the dark sneaks in
truth sits down to share
breakdowns, heart attacks, second marriages
till the German accent
jumps from a moving train
and freedom from East Berlin

It stops the show

The writer
dragged away
with questions dangling
in the thick air
sees freedom come again
in a smile in the shadows

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