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Off the Map

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I stare at the door. It stares back.

Finally, it bangs open as if someone

had been holding their breath. You slam

the flask by the sink, Shite first day.

The sat nav dipped out at Burnsall. Lost,

late, living on your brakes, you chased

the day into the dark. Poor thing, I sigh;

want to hug you, kiss your spiky hair.

Before Covid confined you to the kitchen

in the care home, you’d let an old man

punch your arm and a lady called Dot

hold your hand as you searched for her cat.

The road ahead as a delivery driver:

potholes, the rage, a tip in an envelope,

rain drumming its fingers on the roof,

nowhere to park the bastard van.

You look at the road atlas I’ve fetched,

shake your head. It looks like a book,

you say. I’ll download a better app.

You have to get lost your own way. 

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