Some afternoons I take her out in the car.
We go fast. Fast, with the windows down,
the wind winding its fingers round
our hair, its palms pressed hard
against our cheeks.
I drive to feel the brief unfastening
from this life of close-knit tasks.
She laughs at the wind, at the slant of sun
playing on her face. This is a run,
dreaming of driving to the edge, and then beyond.
I can see the rooms where we would stay:
camel-humped beds and crumbling wallpaper;
the glass of wine in the bar; me suddenly sexy
in another language, wearing her like an accessory,
light as a bracelet. For this is about weight,
the weight of a life, the daub and mottle of walls
that last, and when running you shed things,
like a snake with his snake hide behind him.
I begin to brake without thinking;
the pull is acceleration in reverse.
We are meshed in the home walls,
this small child and I,
the hair and earth of its frame.
We are balancing on a world
that keeps turning,
however fast we run.
(first published in The Rialto and in Escaping the Cage)
Kate Scott‘s first poetry collection, Stitches, was published by Peterloo Poets. Escaping the Cage was published by HappenStance Press. She also appears in another HappenStance chapbook, Who’s in the Next Room (the result of a National Trust poetry residency with Paul Hyland, Catherine Simmonds and Pam Zinnemann-Hope).