Issue #10

Slack Hill

Here comes the long descent. It drops

much further than you think.

At seventeen, sardined in Billy’s purple car,

you’d all lean forwards, subtly,

like school kids on a fairground ride

and when the tarmac afterwards was flat

you’d still feel tall for miles

as Billy turned The Pixies up.

Tonight, you’re straight-backed

and alone behind the wheel

and every night this winter’s

felt like New Year’s eve,

the anti-climax of dropped leaves,

the freeze-dried air,

the road home lengthening

as, for the hundredth time,

Slack Hill begins to quicken you.

Your foot is not yet on the brake.

Helen Mort

© 2014