He had silver hair
and a baritone voice
when I asked
his three workmates looked directly to him.
The day was hot
the cyclist’s enemy, wind spiteful
in my face – all day.
The most fundamental of mistakes
a stopped watch
20 km per hour x elapsed time = distance travelled
distance travelled – journey’s distance = global position.
They were repairing the road –
shingle, bitumen and sweat.
I asked the time
and how far to the next town
“are you tired boy” and
compassion, not words
“quarter past four, 15 to 20 miles.”
Dust gathered and settled
summer insects flurried in the breeze ….
the imprecise balance of intuition and logic
the coordinates of time and distance have restored equilibrium
this he knows,
but he can see heat, and fatigue .
“We’ll be leaving here at five o’clock
for the town whose position I sought : translation
if I ask, their truck will take me –
cyclist and bike
passenger and freight –
space will be found.