Visions in the Mist

From the wind mirror, the road we’d passed

Over, unseemingly, became immediately nothing.

Looking ahead, we were no different from sleepwalkers.

Front lights caught fog, like a lapse of memory

Before us. Even if you knew in which direction

The road curved, the road at least was

Unsure. I could not guess at the speed

We flew through the thick of it all,

Without basis for comparison or relation

As the entirety of the unmoving white about us

Did move, with rivulets of tentative whispering hands,

Disquieted by the hum of a warm, lonesome car.

You did not speak that night, because you had been like this,

Chasing mists, through a long and weary drive,

Too long. Kept tired eyes on watch, through the unseeable.

And I was a passenger. I was passenger.

And you wouldn’t believe me – even if you just

So briefly saw – if I when placing one aching

Boot on the dashboard, withdrew a cigarette

As a peace offering, at the corner of your eye,

And said that I had never before

Been in such safe mists. I have never felt

The warmth of this dispassionate silence

Until then: in the infinite fog, it dissolved me,

As we fell through the night: like a match dropped

Into the well, its own light falling, spreading shadows

And chasing one penny of hopeless luck.

So I did not mind, so much, that we had lost

Our lives while chasing mists, the headlights

Imprisoning light in the fog forever before us.

We were ghosts in the midst of our own white silence.

Last night we drove home through long, winding road across the fens. The mists of the evening had frozen into a dense, comfortless fog which would not relent, no matter how far we drove. It was impossible to quite see where we were going, or what was up ahead. We traveled at speed nonetheless.

I kept a look out in front of us, to follow the traced image of the road. But it faded in and our before us, like the scenery of a dream upon waking. My concentration began to fail me, and I could not help but look out into the fog for silhouettes, visions, lone travellers hailing us at the darkest hour of the night. I’d heard stories before about drivers down those roads, who encountered passers-by and saw strange lights which fell back into the fog, leaving nothing but a stirring in the memory and a sense of cold unease.

Then, it occurred to me: in such a dreamy state, streaming through the mists so swiftly, it might only be a matter of seconds before we unknowingly became the very ghosts I imagined around us. 

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One thought on “Visions in the Mist

  1. Dear James Evocative, vividly visual, calling up ghostly memories and images from our misty foggy sometimes scarey night drives in the North with the accompanying trust, companionship, warmth and security. Many thanks! Gran Sent from my iPad

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