One Up On The Joneses

The hills that circle Swansea
look higher than they are, as by
the Dead and Galilee:
gas-blue dusk grimes the air
as pre-teen silhouettes
war-dance round a blackened car...
a Citroen GS.
We had one of the first in Wales;
low-slung and feline,
a slinky Gauloise sex-bomb
that had eyes in Sketty
coming out on stalks.
The test drive she gave you
on those up and down roads
under ocean skies nuanced grey
you would never forget.
We had four good years
before she rusted, grudged to start
and made me late for school.
Now her sister smoulders
on the streets where father and young child could walk
through friendly yellow night-light, safe as blithe
in 1971.

by Richard George

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