A Moment in Time

I used to travel a lot in my old job and one run I did on a very regular basis was from Newcastle to Manchester for machines to be serviced at a specialist depot in the suburb of Stockport. Leaving home at 4am, the drive is about 3-3 1/2 hours. Because the journey is through about 4 different counties the radio signal changes frequently, so I never listened to it, I always had all my favourite music cassettes with me that I just played and played and played.

I did the trip as normal that September day. A day unlike any other day, but for more reasons that one. The journey over the Pennines was incident free. I arrived usual time, fueled up ready for the return journey, had the usual cuppa with Pete and Bill before starting, then listening to more music whist waiting for the service of the machine to be completed. Breakfast at 9am as usual, job finished and ready to hit the road again by 11am.

2 ways home. The dreaded M62/M1/A1 route, or the more pleasant M4/Hartside route. Plenty of time, lets go scenic. More music [some lines you might see included] home by 4pm. I walked in and my son was in his usual prone on the sofa position [students huh] and the images on the tv screen look like a Die Hard film. Not seen that one, what is it ? was my question.

4am, on a darkened motorway,
bound for?
Manchester, UK, well,
Stockport is the true destination,
via that bastard
someone christened the M62
the road to hell itself
little was I to know
hell on earth was happening
that very day

2 4 6 8 never too late
just on and on and on
Motorway madness in all its glory
undipped headlights of the weary
break lights of the speedsters
slowness of the lost
all caught on a crumbling network
of so called roads.

Music, always music,
coffee and pre rolled smokes
cassette after cassette after cassette
Loud, always loud
cocooned in my cab
the womb of the driven
radio on by my side?

Depot reached, brews made,
eyes sore from too bright lights
and the break of dawn
bacon butties
on dirty plates
jokes, just as dirty
the playground of men
and mechanics.

11am, time to hit the road
scenic route, or
back over that menace of a road
jammed with horseless wagons
rolling, rolling, rolling
or green hills
winding roads,
quaint villages
no contest.

What you watching sunshine?
The Trade Center
Good film?
Its Real.
Give over, who’s in it?
Its Real.
Stop playing silly games
I’m not, this is REAL.

Watching, awaiting the punchline
that never came
the realisation
what my eyes saw, yet
mind would not believe
all too real.
I wept.

Posted for Open Link Night over at dVerse where  Brian Miller is your host.


7 responses to “A Moment in Time

  • brian miller

    this def rings of the shock of seeing it…it could only be a movie…no it is real…and that is just how it felt….surreal…love the opening as i got lost in the routine before your unveil…

  • Bodhirose

    Your realization that is was, indeed real, sent a chill through me. I wept too when I realized that the planes smashing into the Twin Towers was no accident.

  • ManicDdaily

    You describe so well the possibility of isolation – which is rare, but real in modern life. I read one story about a guy in downtown Manhattan who slept through everything – sick or hungover – woke up the next day to see the towers gone and all that smoke. You know I saw second plane hit from the street in NYC.

    But you describe also so well – the weirdness of this kind of event immediately crossing the globe and then there are these little pockets – well done. k.

  • apshilling

    i think we all still remain gobsmacked
    by the surreality of the whole event . . .

    i leave with a good sense of how you
    experienced the day tino

    good to read you again –
    under any


    all the best

  • Poet Laundry

    Your last stanza really summed up that surreal feeling…the waiting for the sick joke to be over…and then the understanding that it was all too true.

  • Rachel

    That last stanza really makes the reader re-feel the shock of those images. Great write.

  • brian miller

    thank goodness you did not stop by nor leave a comment so that i would not have to return one just to say hi and see how you were doing…only to find no new post…


    hope you are well man…

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