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Sport 25: Spring 2000

Louise Wrightson — KG2097

page 128

Louise Wrightson


The red Nissan van,
(1500, Sunny-Vanette)
has been parked
in the lay-by
near our house
for months.

My brother
reported it
to the authorities.

Nothing happened,
except that I grew
exceptionally fond of it.

When it rained,
I got out of bed
in the black of night
and wound up
all the windows
that weren't broken.

I washed the windscreen
when the neighbours
weren't watching.

I counted the parking tickets
stuffed in the side-pockets
and then, defiantly,
burnt the lot.

page 129

I found a Swiss Army knife
in the glovebox,
that had no gloves
that I could see.

The knife had GREG
picked out carefully
on the red plastic handle.

If I'm at a loose end,
(which is most of the time)
I sit in the driver's seat.

I pretend to be GREG,
hair slicked back, on his way
to chat up Sunny-Vanette.

Now, there's a woman
to be reckoned with.

I've sent the authorities
a copy of this poem,
so it's possible they'll come
any minute now
and take the van away.

I'll be upset for a while,
but like life
and its vicissitudes,
I'll accept it.

I was in love, briefly,
with a man just like the red van.

He'd travelled a long way
and wasn't going anywhere.