Tuesday, 25 November 2008


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A busy city intersection.
It could have been
Hyde Park Corner,
Marble Arch,
Place De La Bastille,
or Piazza Barberini,
but wasn’t.

I was on foot
or at least
I think I was!
Suddenly there was this terrible screaming,
traffic came by
it passed before me
very close, from the left,
then just turned after slowing
just a little
the way traffic often does
as it converges en masse
into a bend.

The sceaming
was from a young woman
totally flung out
from an open backed lorry
flung out of the Driving Cab
from the nearside -
she was hanging on
her grey coat
trailing and flailing.
She was screaming.

Nobody was at the wheel!
Somehow the lorry jostled
and negociated the bend
of its own will –
or wheel – choose for yourself
how you’d like to express it.
And then the traffic, the lorry
with the woman,
gathered speed
and sped on very fast.

The screaming went on and on.
Shocked and exasperated
I said to someone:
“Why didn’t one of the
other cars or several
of them slow down
and stop, then the lorry
would have been boxed in,
and brought to a halt”.
A woman said: “Yes,
there would have been
a bump, but it could have worked”.
I could still hear the woman’s terrible screams
trailing on and on and on...

And then I woke up
in long luxurient grasses
under an Almond tree.
Dawn was breaking.
It was 5 a.m.
Through the leaves
there was just the rustle
of a gentle breeze,
no traffic, no woman screaming.
All day, a Sunday,
I’d been walking, marvelling
at the incredibly peaceful, traffic free
Sicilian country roads.
And now this!

(Towards Cerda. 7 July 1997. Notebook page 129).
For Madonie Region map locations information click >here<.
For the FULL chronological list of all SICILY ABLAZE pages click >> here <<.