High speed trap space
By Les Murray
Speeding home from town
in rainy dark. For the narrowness
of main roads then, we were hurtling.
A lorry on our tail, bouncing, lit our mirrors,
twinned strawberries kept our lights down
and our highway lane was walled
in froth-barked trees. Nowhere to swerve -
but out between trunks stepped an animal,
big neck, muzzle and horns, calmly gazing
at the play of speed on counter-speed.
Its front hooves up, planted on the asphalt
and our little room raced on to a beheading
or else to be swallowed by the truck's high bow.
No dive down off my seat would get me low
enough to escape the crane-swing of that head
and its imminence of butchery and glass.
But it was gone.
The monster jaw must have recoiled
in one gulp to give me my survival.
My brain was still full of the blubber lip,
the dribbling cud. In all but reality
the bomb stroke had still happened.
Ghost glass and blurts of rain still showered
out of my face at the man
whose straining grip had had
to refuse all swerving.
Les Murray / Autovelox spaziale (Dante)