"Trucker" published in Boyne Berries, Autumn 2013

My poem "Trucker" as published in the September 2013 issue of Boyne Berries, an anthology of contemporary poetry edited by Kate Dempsey and published by the Boyne Writers Group. 

Trucker

During the a.m. stage of the night

Ford Transits make a move; 

On the M50, shuttle buses flee for the airport.

 

The motorway is black, the life and limb 

Of cement. Driving through hard-bitten April,

You drink raw coffee, the night divided

 

By toll booths, and the Boyne River Bridge.

The sun cleaves the skyline,

The container is leashed and ready.

  

Calmed by cigarette smoke, you forget dusk,

When crime and intimacy are most awake.

You’re a man paid to make journeys,

 

Delivering barrels of Guinness to rural pubs,

Packaged food to out-of-the-way Centras.

We need you to deliver our meat and drink,       

 

Owe our slaked hunger to your engine,

The growl of your exhaust pipe,

Your headlights slicing the torrential shade. 

 

Ploughing through mud bulky as snow,

You chase atmosphere with atmosphere,

Scrape motorways like an anti-hero.

 

Punters are absent here. Only 18-tonners,

Concrete mixers and diesel engines roar beside you.  

And dawn is your frugal canvas, radiating

 

A country you can neither love nor leave behind,

Early mornings in Belfast, late deliveries

To Provence, every road is a concrete guide.

 

And the cities extend their neon welcome,

While home awaits your return, clear

And unburdened, in your long-haul freedom.