God once stopped while I was hitch-hiking,
barrelling south down the Ghost Road
through that endless stretch where
Yorkshire almost starts to resemble Texas.
He flung open the door of a long, white
Mercedes with seats made out of cows.
Given all His hard work, I couldn’t begrudge
Him it, nor the platinum signet ring on
His little finger. He looked – that day – not
unlike a young Topol, or Trotsky, with a
well-groomed neatness to His silver-threaded
curls and goatee. We talked about cars
and girls, the usual stuff, vulnerability.
He asked me how I liked His ride; I guessed
the ambiguity was entirely accidental.
What would you do – He asked me seriously
– if I were to reach out and touch you,
right here, right now? What would you do?
The question hung in the slim air between us,
like a brand new planet, still in its wrapper,
hanging innocently in the heavens He’d built.
Gazing out at the reams of road ahead
waiting to be swallowed up, I shuddered,
understanding for the first time that my soul
was really only ever going to be on loan.
Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, Homestead Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found here