Thursday, 30 August 2018

Impossible to Park

(with Apologies to Henry Reed)

In season it’s impossible to park. Yesterday
The sun was shining. And tomorrow morning
It might be overcast or raining. But today -
And all season - it’s impossible to park. Visitors,
Like brightly coloured bees swarm through Penlee and Morrab
Gardens. It’s high season. It’s impossible to park.

This is the Market Jew Street snarl-up. And this
Is the A30 snarl-up, the true extent of which you will see
Only when, eventually, you get out of town. And this,
This is all the time in the world -
Which in our case we have not got. The visitors,
Sweaty in their four by fours make silent, eloquent gestures.
They worry about scratching their shiny new doors
Which we, the cash-strapped locals, have not got.

This is the car park at the Green Market which fills up
Early with shoppers. Please do not bother after half-past nine.
But instead try the one next-door to Penlee Park, which is
Bigger and just around the corner. It is , of course, expensive and
usually full. This is Cornwall. It’s impossible to park.

And this you can see is the Prom. The purpose of this
Is to take you to the beach. It is pleasanter to walk than to drive.
But you will need to get down there before the commuters
Who come into town for their day’s work. (We call this
Earning a living.) But the gaily-garbed holidaymakers, the would-be
morning strollers, find their places in Disabled spaces.
They call it, with a smile, ‘squeezing in'.

They call it squeezing in. For them it is perfectly easy.
(They have the neck and the nerve.) They can park on
The pavement or in front of someone’s driveway
(Which in my case I have not got). Or they ‘squeeze’ their off-road
Vehicles into residential roads - which are narrow - obstructing
The pavement. This is Cornwall. It’s impossible to park.

Visit Cornwall stops promoting Kynance Cove and Porthcurno because of overcrowding

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance where the sea air and beautiful scenery keep her mostly on the right side of sanity.