P Plates – by Nicky Phillips


I watch you shoot off, the first time,
with a display of pride and speed that zigzags
you into the reserve of everyman’s land,
the centre of the countryside lane.
No cats’ eyes, no cats, just the odd fox
or badger, now at your mercy.

Heavy metal pumps out of the battered –
but affordable – Fiesta’s sound system.
Your foot taps the accelerator,
the engine roars, carries you faster still.
Where? Where are you heading?
Are you in top gear or have you higher to climb?

How many neat three-point-about-turns
have your early years forced you into?
Be ready for emergency stops, diversions that lead
you away from your proposed destination.
Know your road without relying on SatNav,
but always have its default set on Home.



Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.

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