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    Simon Armitage - Hitcher

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    poetictouch

    by poetictouch

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    Simon Armitage reads his poem Hitcher at Boston University 21 September 2009.

    Hitcher
    by Simon Armitage (1963-)

    I'd been tired, under
    the weather, but the ansaphone kept screaming:
    One more sick-note, mister, and you're finished. Fired.
    I thumbed a lift to where the car was parked.
    A Vauxhall Astra. It was hired.

    I picked him up in Leeds.
    He was following the sun to west from east
    with just a toothbrush and the good earth for a bed. The truth,
    he said, was blowin' in the wind,
    or round the next bend.

    I let him have it
    on the top road out of Harrogate — once
    with the head, then six times with the krooklok
    in the face — and didn't even swerve.
    I dropped it into third

    and leant across
    to let him out, and saw him in the mirror
    bouncing off the kerb, then disappearing down the verge.
    We were the same age, give or take a week.
    He'd said he liked the breeze

    to run its fingers
    through his hair. It was twelve noon.
    The outlook for the day was moderate to fair.
    Stitch that, I remember thinking,
    you can walk from there.