Hard Shoulder

Sucking Polo peppermints,
I’m on the M1 heading south;
no you in the passenger seat
to do a crossword with,
thirty wet miles to the next coffee,
through curtains of grey drizzle,
and motorway monotony.

Nothing better to do,
I’ve been trucker spotting,
a game we used to play,
counting up the Eddie Stobarts,
the Norbert Dentressangles
and the Willi Betzes ’
you loved their names.

Wanting music, I flick the radio on
and suddenly there is beauty ’
Bach’s St Matthew Passion ’
we sang it in the choir;
the final soaring choruses
obliterate the ugliness outside,
but unlock the grief inside.

Swollen with feeling, I pull over
to the hard shoulder and howl,
while Eddie Stobart,
Norbert Dentressangle
and Willi Betz
roar by with logistical solutions
and lash me with their spray.