(A World History of Late Arrivals Since Last Wednesday)

The headlights penetrate the empty rooms
of a cottage, unshuttered, but closed to the night,
and so don’t illuminate the girl
draped like Lauren Bacall
against the Hollywooden gloss of the door,
cool as can be and waiting
waiting and waiting for me.

How I could have hoped she’d still be there I have no idea;
but the daylight faded more than seven hours ago
and she’s more than given up on me,
reading into my non-appearance
A World History of Late Arrivals Since Last Wednesday (Volume XI).

The motor whispers that it’s time to move on:
so I change the radio wavelength,
release the clutch and
crunch the gears to climb the hill
and put the reluctant distance between us.

The miles that pass have nothing to say
and no light to throw
on the disappointment I feel
at the wheel of this,
my last chance Toyota saloon.

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