Auto pilot

In a slow moving traffic queue
not far from home one late afternoon
The school run was clogging the roads
Friday mischievously adding its usual madness

Car lights pricked the early winter dusk
forming neatly curving little rows
The world looked like a patiently slithering snake
Perhaps we were all wishing everyone else wasn’t here

I just made an instinctive glance
one as if a bird had flown nearby
That was when it burst into view capturing me
from somewhere deep and quite asleep

The silent crash of sudden recognition surprised me
I had been on life auto-pilot for some time
It was the sky that invaded my numbness
drawing my attention like a steel blade to the throat

There was no proud stunning sunset
nor a cloud-thrown tapestry masterpiece
Yet that faint blue grey cold tissue paper blanket dome
filled the wide heavens and stabbed me at once

Its gentleness tore and manhandled my mind
bundling me into thoughts of deep winter
That solid wall was more chilling than ice
as a drained sun slid limply from sight

It made me think of pale loneliness and distance
of magnificence greatness and our puny selves
That backdrop to the world was indeed mighty
not vivid but sucking away all other colour

Winter skies claim different art this high north
there is nothing between morning and evening light
The day has gone in the flicker of an eyelid
fading and draining as the crows caw their way to nest

Traffic began to move
Reluctantly I pulled my gaze away
The red snake ahead was eaten by the approaching white one
as I stole last snippets from the powerful sky

© 2019 Jim Loft