Driving through the September rain
the taxi driver didn’t say a word
until a goat ran across the road.

He came to a sudden stop,
banged his fist on the windscreen,
and intimated we were close to the spot
where, sometime in the 1700s,
a Fitzgerald had tied his father to a bear.

Then we watched a forest
march from east to west.

We stayed there until it was time
for him to talk to me again.

As we approached eighty miles an hour
he described how at dead of night
his second wife would drive forty miles
to defecate on his first wife’s grave –
how he and a Doctor Birnam had her committed.

The taxi left the road at the usual place
and crashed into an oak
which had come forty miles to kill us.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN


Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences