Slower

I choose a minutes slower
route within Google Maps

Such a lottery takes us longer
as we drive through mid-Sussex

Huge delays are common here –
because J.Deere tractors blast

along summer’s uncut lanes –
that narrowing of back roads –

fuming in their camouflage
of brand green and yellow –

ploughing dead straight –
making cars meet hedgerows

We hit dry spittles of sunlight
under jiggered shadows –

Here old wapple ways
are low to fields – almost-gorges

hoofed out by tramped centuries
of stick-herded stock

Where canopies intersect overhead
as prayer-grabbing fingers lock

to make summertime rooflines
under which we drive in instant night –

swooped – whilst our confines
of air-conditioning and auto-beams

make us – modern travellers – immune
to such a cool pleasure as shade