Heathrow Central Bus Station. 4 a.m.
The lift descends. An automatic door filters
the English morning through the holes
of metal chairs.
Grey Berghaus jackets exhale
restless aeroplane air.
Trolleys queue at the ticket desk.
Staff padded with National Express coats
and fluoro vests.
A man in summer shorts surveys
the shivering screen
as the night buses crawl in.
The echoes of a boarding call.
Dragged cases make their way
as the reversing coach chirps
from its bay.
On the M25.
The new driver nurses
junction numbers as trusting
passengers drift off.
Yellow specks in stirring eyes
as road workers lift snow from fresh tarmac.
The blinks of cone-spun lanes suspended
beyond pitch-black fields.
Cambridge arrives before the sun.
Belts retract to fraying seats
as Parker’s Piece leaves unbroken
lines of feet and trailing wheels.
Vomit fresh on college courtyards
and the marketplace a morgue of kebabs
misplaced gowns and cobbled footprints
of the girl escaping
a pack of tuxedoed clowns.
The gutters spill
into tapping puddles.
The Big Issue men still burrowed.
An ambulance in silence
lights its way to the hospital.