On the Road with Mahler No. 5
I play your CD on my way to see you
even though car radios don’t do it justice.
November mists clothe half-dressed trees,
all low-lying land lies waterlogged.
Gulls fly – paper white darts in greying
sky, circle onto newly ploughed land.
Frosted skeletons of umbelliferae stand
stark against the darkness of the hedges.
Lights of heavy machinery flash, mud plasters
the lane and florescent workmen wave me past.
The buzzard leaves his regular post
soars above the trees, disappears in mist.
The road straightens down to the coast,
wet sands mirror the clouds; all is calm.
Then wind stirs the last of the leaves and
wands of willow bend in naked dance.
An elderly bundled man weighted with bags
leans into the wind, heads home.
I stop the car, switch off the engine,
pause before going in your house.
This journey ends, but for you another
lies ahead, the uncertainty of the unknown.
I know, next time I revisit Mahler’s music
my mind will surely take me back over
these few miles and my last visit to you.
I wait, play the adagietto one more time.