The End of the Road

Bernadette Quinn
Was it one hundred and twenty-five miles from Arusha to Dareda,
or ten thousand miles?
In that land of contrasts
and mystery
it was hard to tell.
Driving on a road that was determined
to stop me from arriving
at my destination
I slowed down when
unexpected rocks poked their heads
through the cruel surface
and wondered would I ever
make it to Dareda.
Then the mountains,
standing out in dark blue relief high against the sky
beckoned me encouragingly on and at forty miles an hour when the going was good
the little Volkswagen
moved spankingly along accompanied by
the drum-beat sound
of small rocks hitting off its metal belly.
Abruptly the road ceases; jungle growth surrounds me and the Escarpment
darkly visible in the dusk
is backdrop to -the lighted windows of the mission compound.
Page 68, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 26