Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Silhouette On A Staircase in Swindon

Through the windscreen's wipered half-moon,
up ahead, I see tail-lights flash red.
My foot pushes down. The car halts

stock-still in a lane of the M4.
I glance sideways to a towerblock
a column of light on the staircase

and the silhoutte of a soul
female - the angled skirt - careering
down its corkscrew of dead air

in exuberant escape
from grey-carpeted officeness
like a stream reaching the plateau's edge

and plunging recklessly.
I muse on her as I tune into the traffic news,
an accident has resulted in long delays.

Bored, I turn again to the towerblock
and see for the first time
its bold neon sign: Hospital

and its empty staircase
down which she had run
not from something but to.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved