flask_tartanThe love potion flask

 

All day chalking out patterns;

tacking lapels and kick pleats.

 

Every evening cranking up through

the gears – a Tag-Relay on the track,

 

or a Time-Trial into that East wind.

And on a weekend it’s an Endurance:

 

organising the girlfriend

to make up enough sarnies;

 

to be at the right Feeding Station

at the right time;  to mix plenty of sugar

 

in every water bottle;  to hold them just so,

her arm straight;  not to flinch

 

as he trams past gasping, stuffing

sarnie into mouth, spare into back pocket,

 

bottle into cage.  The hours flickering

past in hedgerows.  The lanolin – slapped

 

inside his shorts at dawn – leaking

into the weary saddle till, eleven hours in,

 

207 miles under his belt, a personal best beckoning

in the final blur of light over Little Fransham,

 

a slick bend brings him down – loose gravel thick

inside a knee, one elbow a knob of snapped bone,

 

and her a panicked flag of seersucker

running out of the gloom with a tartan thermos.

 

 

 

Char March