you're leaving

heading South
in Katie’s wonderful bus
a 1954 Bedford

it had long curves
a split windscreen
and a chimney
that gave it away
as a living vehicle

this was the time
when the media
was hysterical
about “travellers”

we stopped for tea
but before the kettle
had boiled
there was a knock knocking
at the sliding door

two guys
with a petrol can
and a lighter

they held them up
and said
“you’re leaving”
so
we left

eventually
we got to Newbury
we had caught up
with the others
and a raggly convoy
rolled into town
somehow
a police escort appeared

at the park
there were people
waving flags
cameras for the mayor
to welcome
the travelling show

I still felt jumpy
and scanned their faces
these were the same folks
and you can’t tell from looking
whether you are going
to get death threats
or bunting

"Mr Gasket & Bedford Bus"