Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Silhouette On A Staircase in Swindon

Through the windscreen's wipered half-moon,
I see tail-lights flash red up ahead.
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:
there's long delays following an accident on the M4.

Bored and irritated, I turn again to look at the towerblock
and see for the first time its neon sign 'Hospital'

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

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