On a different road
On a different road, today,
The High Road, the Top Road, she called it.
The memory of an earlier journey:
A landscape that dropped away from the car towards a jewel-bright reservoir and then reared up again into tumbling hills.
Houses, old and new, perched high on the ridge on my right, to drink in the view.
I wanted to take that road again.
Anticipation, knowing the view is coming,
as I drive along the High Road, the Top Road.
Something has already changed – here the trees are thicker, the colours older and richer.
The view is coming.
Past the hedge and the landscape drops. The reservoir is an azure-green patch in the hills.
The fields are hazy with grey-blue stalks of straw, remains of the harvest.
The sky is another stroke of grey-blue.
If an artist painted it, she’d have to dilute inks until they were homeopathic drops in the water.
If an artist painted it I wouldn’t believe her – ‘too wish-washy,’ I’d say.
But I’d be wrong.
Here, on a different road, everything is hazy,
Everything is watered, everything is intense.
Back on my own road, the colours return to their normal strength.
The soil is a strong red-brown, the sky is cerulean blue.
But I turn and, there, on the horizon, just a streak of hazy grey-blue.