Crossing

Crossing
Against the fading sky,
The figure on the parapet
Appears in silhouette, intent;
And still as we are stationary.
Something about the locked traffic interests,
Checks her course.
Bumper to bumper, the cars clog
The motorway as far as ever.
Tail-lights point a red trail ahead.
Behind, paired white spots
Line the contours of the driven route.
Everything that signals speed and motion
Now unaccountably suspended.
We hold ourselves, yearning
For the cough of an ignition,
The brake-lights cut, ready for progress.
This waiting thins us
As, daring hope to overwhelm
The gloom of resignation,
We are strapped, jammed,
No nearer any destination.
Against the deepening twilight,
The figure on the parapet shifts.
Is her hand raised
In a wave of commiseration or benediction?
She steps out deliberately,
Traverses the empty bridge,
Her route quite clear,
Taking another direction. DNM January 2019