A poem I wrote a few years ago which was inspired by Emily Chappell’s memoir ‘What Goes Around: A London Cycle Courier’s Story’. I am never convinced anything I write is finished so I have decided my own blog is a good place to share it with no pressure!
A London cycle courier in summer
Fixed frame staccatos, stop-start over and over, the control
of a woman who has covered ground and knows this road
opens up around the bend.
Her gears grind through hot, furious traffic,
it’s captive anger exalting her
inconvenience. Legs hammer,
a deep groove
between muscle and bone,
defined by the art of repetition.
She sails from Southwark, ever rising
glass and steel, down
to Newcross, sick stains and blood
no sandblasting can shift. She clings
to curves near sites of hen nights and gang fights that she
didn’t see. Bound to that black box,
in haze of fumes and heat,
she delivers crisp white sheets –
which signs you up, or sets you free.