Reading the road


Butterbox Lane.
Stuck the knife in
And laid it on thick:

The wheel to follow.
Dishing it,
Not taking it.

Picked up a tailwind
Blew down Sloop Lane
A two-wheeled man ’o’ war.

Long drop on Ketches
Pulling hard as the hangman’s rope
Through woods slowly bleeding to red-gold death

Witches Lane. Flying,
Speeding, spellbound.
Wicked. Cackling.

Burned Down Street
To the old powder mill.
Blasted the climb beyond.

Rolled up Rocks Road.
High Street shuffle.
Last hill home.

Seeing the signs.
Feeling my way.
Reading the road.


Free-verse recall and redolent Sussex road names from yesterday’s ride. Our Ketches Lane has an ‘e’ Charles II’s notorious hangman never had, so there’s probably no connection, but I can’t help thinking of Jack Ketch and his eponymous knot every time I ride along there. N.


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