Road Closed – by Steve Walter

A companion poem by Steve Walter to his A26 which appeared on the website last week. Both poems appeared in the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society’s Folio #73, published in 2019.

Road Closed

They’re rolling out a river of pitted night.
He knew this – the changing surfaces,
exactly how sun-rain-snow-ice, juggernauts,

cause an imperfect skin to split, fissure, crumble.
He specified bitumen, oil-blackened aggregate,
to lay low and level, thin like pastry,

judged to the millimetre, fractions of an inch.
In the morning, the heady scent of an antiseptic balm
binding grit, soothing injury, the road’s wounds,

an accumulated ledger of pain, a night time of layering.
River patterned precisely with white and yellow,
decorative icing, bonded gravel pressed

into the even dressing…ink draining from his hand.
You will not find a pothole now,
on London Road – the highway healed.


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