photo by richard lee miller
Emma Lee's most recent collection is Ghosts in the Desert (IDP, UK, 2015). She co-edited Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves, UK, 2015). She reviews for four UK poetry journals and blogs at
An Absence of Flowers
There wasn't a warning.
I couldn't see the sky for the mist of mizzle,
just traffic coagulating on the ring road,
a grass snake stretching to anaconda.
I turn to take a detour.
I'd seen four cars,
one with a door cut off,
another with a crumpled engine
and flat tyre, the others with dents,
debris on the tarmac.
Social media reports one driver was taken,
not to the local hospital,
but to the one that treats head injuries.
Returning home, the road
has become peppered with aerosol marks,
like a child's shaky drawing of a road.
When all we were expecting
was a bottleneck and frustration,
I pray for the driver
whose tomorrow will be as tentative
as a toddler's first steps.