Our Lady of the Traffic

by Aidan Andrew Dun


Black summer tarmac
bubbles in the microclimate,
conspiracies foam and mumble.

A skeleton appears
racing into a yellow box:
rubber burns with a scream.

The bone-woman runs out
through blue thoroughfares,
thin skull opening, shrieking:

‘Help! Help! A house fire,
Grandmother’s in hospital,
Hayley’s sick.’ Verbal props.

A Rolls Royce front-grill
modelled on a Greek temple
silhouettes the fallen goddess

Down on one knee
in front of the radiator
Our Lady of the Traffic,

Something once, arresting still,
scarecrow with scarlet panties
riding up her crack, who whimpers:

‘Help! Help! Fifty pence!
The place burned down last night,
please imagine the flames.’

The Magdalen whispers
through rolled down glass:
‘Grandma’s in so much pain!’

Now tears on hot tar
steam invisibly as silver
slips through a sweaty bra.

She too weeps for a world
gridlocked in bitter smoke
which no one sees.