At the wood’s dark edge, this remote gas station’s
heavy with time, like its elderly attendant.
He brushes dust from the pumps with the cuff of his overalls,
contemplates the empty road. Trade is seldom brisk,
but he hasn't seen a car today, let alone customer.
When did the world end? Without radio or telephone
he wouldn't know. Attuned to the rumour of machinery,
he’s alert to every imminent arrival, but nothing’s in the air,
save a sense that something’s wrong.
He feels loneliness growing from his gut, like a hollowing.
All he can do is dust his pumps again, and hope.
Paul McDonald runs the creative writing programme at the University of Wolverhampton, England. He is the author of fifteen books, which cover fiction, poetry, and scholarship. His work has won a number of prizes including the Ottakars/Faber and Faber Poetry Competition, The John Clare Poetry Prize, and the Sentinel Poetry Prize. His academic work includes books on Philip Roth, Joseph Heller, Toni Morrison, narratology, and the philosophy of humour.
The Ekphrastic Review
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