Tangents: Poems of
A chapbook, 24 pages
Available from Judy Ray for $5.00
my family I was going on holiday,
driving southwest to the county of Devon.
I told a friend along the way that we were
just passing through, had better get on before dark.
I told my daughter, romping in the Volkswagen van,
that we’d see the moor and climb a tor in the morning.
I told only myself that we had nowhere to go,
only this borrowed van or a borrowed bed.
I told the mechanic, while rain soaked us cold,
that we could not leave the van overnight, we needed
to sleep in it. I told my daughter that even in the rain
we had puzzles to do and books to read.
I told a friendly camper about driving the van
through five countries on the Continent.
I told myself that Dartmoor’s prison
on the windswept moor looked even lonelier than legend.
I told my daughter that we’d look for wild
ponies and rings of ancient stones.
I told my daughter to watch out for bright green
bogs that would pull off her shoes.
I told an employment agent that I’d come back
when I had an address, not just a van on the road.
I told myself this was a respite.
I told myself the rain would stop.
My daughter told me that a pony looked at her at dawn
through the window—she saw its mealy nose up close.
My daughter told me we could wash
in the cold stream and give the van a drink too.
My daughter told me she liked picnics
and rolling on the springy heath.
We told each other we were lucky snails,
snortling along in our home on wheels.
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