The knock

The end
Begins
At the tips
Of the fingers:

A numbness
That creeps,
Grows,
Spreads.

The mind
Follows routes
Unrelated
To the real road
Unrolling
Unheeding
Under the wheels.

A gradual closing-down
And switching-off of lights
In critical departments;

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Nobody at home.

All-points bulletin:
Calling all carbs.

The world spins
In soft-focus;
Trees and houses fade
Like figures in a blizzard
And someone’s stuffing wool
Into my ears.

Take a little sidelong
Look at death;
Decide
It’s not for me.

So stop.
Refuel.
Remount.
Resume.

Piece of cake.

 

A hot, fast ride today left me on the verge of the dreaded hunger knock, or bonk – the cyclist’s term for hypoglycaemia, when blood sugar levels suddenly crash and when the bridge starts signalling frantically to the engine-room for more power, there’s no response. Luckily I reached home, and savlation in the form of a homemade flapjack, before things got ugly, but it was a close thing. Certainly close enough to remind me of what it’s like when the bonk strikes in earnest…

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