Poetry

Pieta

He was a tall man struck on the head
By the wing mirror of our passing bus
The hard metal folded and glass shattered
Sunshine occluded by the sudden coincidence of two factors
His knees bent and he fell to the pavement
And rolled there in his heavy overcoat.
The bus stopped some way off and the passengers stared
As the fearful driver reached the fallen man.
A passer-by clutching a mobile phone joined him
And together they tried to calm the flailing movement.
The man resembled an injured bird trying to fly away.
Looking blankly around him and oblivious to their voice
Blood dripped from his ear, red against the pallor of his face.
His fists clenched as he squared up to the shadows
Ready to punch his way out before the darkness closed in.
They pinned his arms until he became quiet
The mouth forming curses as his eyes rolled in his head.
The driver kept repeating sorry, sorry mate
Asking for absolution, a pieta of suffering in a machine age
Far off, a siren could be heard parting the traffic.

John Charles William Morris
31st October 2014