Crashing Swans.

I’m driving.  It’s Tuesday. 7.10am. My passenger screams. It’s not actually a scream. It’s a shout.  It’s as loud as a scream. Can’t remember the word.  A second splits. This is going to be what it’s like to be in a crash. This is a crash.   A shape is sliding across the bonnet from right side to  left.  A  swan with it’s necked tucked away suns its wings. Eyes closed.  It’s as if she’s asleep on the hood. My iris’s follow the motion of a crumpled body slowly disappearing. The other side of the split second opens.  I leap out. She wakes  on the road. “it was my fault”  she says droopily. This is not a dream.   My day begins like this. Literally.

At 10.30am I’m back at home.  My article goes live at The Guardian. Throughout the day and into night it receives  a thousand responses mostly in opposition.  Some are valid enquiry and some offensive. On one hand I wish I’d fed my article with statistics. They can give a piece and its reader a backbone.  But on the other hand I was hoping the reader had one already.  I take the view of the Director of The Association of Directors of Children’s Services as revealed on bbc radio four alongside the inappropriately titled “Adoption Tsar”.

By the time the thousandth comment registers  I  take the next shaky journey in my car to meet the exhibition designers Jotta.  And then to The Purcell rooms for the launch of a book which I’m fortunate  enough to have a poem in – Making New Maps for An Island Planet.  The event is a sell out.  For the first time I perform Night Rain to Sibelious’s Swan of Lake Tuonela.  Today began with a crash and ended with a swan. Or did it begin with a swan and end with a crash. Applause. Tyres screech. Swans scream. Tired. The second hand nods past midnight and I do the same.

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