Too Close to Paradise

Too Close to Paradise


Last night, outside our house,

Death arrowed down

Out of an ink-black sky,

Onto a blood-stained road.

And then blue lights,

A host of flashing lights,

Into the dark night overflowed.

I was not home. I did not hear

The awful noise,

As two cars met head-on,

Lost on a greasy, leaf-smeared

Skating rink.

No time to think.

No, no more time to think.

My path to home was blocked

From quite a long way back.

We drove down narrow lanes

To drop me off as near as I could get

But at the end of one, reflective coats

Blocked off our exit with a sight

I never could forget.

Outside our paradise, an ambulance

And several other crisis vehicles

Crowded the highway.

Police advanced to me.

‘What’s happened here?’ I gasped.

‘Is it Wing Cottage? Has it happened there?’

‘No,  Madam’, they replied.

‘There’s been a crash,

And we will get a constable

To take you through.

And please don’t look.

There’s quite a lot of red stuff on the road.’

I kept my eyes

Fixed firmly to the grass,

As, through the crime scene

We began to pass.

Back in Wing Cottage,

I felt moved to pray

For everyone involved,

In any way.

And when we all retired,

More prayers were said

That we were safe,

And in our cosy bed.


©Ruth Twyman Lockyer October 2013

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