crossing the tarmac

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Catherine Edmunds
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crossing the tarmac

Postby Catherine Edmunds » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:56 am

crossing the tarmac

she sat in the car park on hard black tarmac
as well wishers passed her and asked, you ok luv?
yes fine, she replied, though she knew that they doubted
for why would this woman just sit there and watch
as the cars and the people and pushchairs passed by

a few yards away was her car
a small car a red car a powerless hatchback
with lawnmower engine that someone had nicked
from a washing machine
or so her son used to joke of her friend
her lifeline her transport her home her laughter
her solace her sorrow her joy her garden
her garden?
why yes, there was moss, just a small patch
that grew between window and door frame and yes,
she should move it, because of the danger of rust
but still... a garden
she wasn't about to dig up her garden

half an hour later she'd made some small progress
a new piece of tarmac a few yards closer
to where she could see her little red motor car
waiting and tempting her. come -- you can make it
but even ten yards is an awfully long way
when your legs will not function and dizziness hits you
and nausea creeps up, your body is trembling
and nerves don't regenerate, do they?
but still, not much further, I think I can make it,
she said to herself as she edged slightly closer

an hour or so later she'd got there at last
and she smiled at her progress, for last time the car park
had taken two hours to be conquered
the time before that she hadn't quite made it
the ambulance took her and dumped her in casualty
there on a gurney she'd thought of her car
on its own through the night in the dark of the car park

she sat on the tarmac and dreamed of high mountains
and whistling cliff tops, not telegraph poles
she relished the fantasy
pitied the people who asked her, ok luv?
and rushed on their way to wherever they needed to be
in a shop, or an office, or doing the school run
what's the hurry? she wondered, finally crossing
the last few yards to her car

her wondering fingers touched the hot metal the sides of her car
that sat panting on tarmac
remembering open roads, windswept high passes
and drives through dark forests, a turn up the mountainside,
higher and higher through clouds to a place
by a lake they both knew where the curlews flew
and peewits were seen amongst the dark heather

she pulled herself up off the hot black tarmac
and opened the door, got into her car
where she sat and she smiled and she turned the key
and the motor car chuckled and lurched into life
as she stroked the steering wheel, eased off the clutch
and puttered away from the car park

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Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:48 pm

Hi Delph :)

I haven't got a clue or excuse for why I missed this piece mate, but here is my feedback on Crossing The Tarmac:

I find this work to be truly powerful. It captures the entire frustration of disabilities perfectly and the need for people living with disabilities to be free and independent. The car, a metaphor that reveals many of the inequalities that exist in our world, works to bring eventual equilibrium to the central character who is living her life in a misunderstanding world.

In my mind I could feel the heat of the tarmac as this piece progressed. I felt the bravery of the central character, soldiering on and not wanting to give in to assistance from others. I have solidarity with her because I too have been angered many times that I cannot do all that I used to be able to.

I love the ending of Crossing The Tarmac. That freedom gained by getting to the car and eventually driving off to scenic places and further balance with the world.

If I haven't fed back properly on this or you want me to clarify anything, please ask mate. This is a wonderful work Delph :)
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
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Catherine Edmunds
artist, poet & writer
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: north east england
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Postby Catherine Edmunds » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:11 pm

Thanks Lugh, for a great crit.

The poem was a literal account of an incident in ASDA car park a couple of years ago. I like it when literal things work as metaphors... as I think this one does.

Delph


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