The Haunting of Main Street


People out on Main Street.
It’s a summer afternoon.
Roads busy as ever.
Pavements void of room.

A normal situation.
New City, market day.
For people here on Main Street
it’s always been that way.

And all their awareness
on what’s before their eyes.
Looking for bargains.
Shop windows in their sights.

Just how long it took,
no one really knows.
Minutes, even hours,
before they watched the road.

Every car on Main Street
had it’s headlights on.
Each driver didn’t know it –
the rest had got it wrong.

Congestion blocks the junctions.
‘Cause people stand and watch.
Every car entering Main Street,
It’s headlights just flash on.

The police get to the problem.
The press all gather round.
The lights are unconnected.
But no solution can be found.

The story hits the media.
There’s confusion all about.
Camera’s arrive on Main Street.
But then all the lights go out.
Those who saw it tell their story.
Among the masses – disbelief.
The police won’t make a comment.
The press desert the scene.

Business is back to normal.
And many weeks have passed.
But eyes are still on Main Street.
As if the calm won’t last.

Then it starts again on Main Street.
But cars just red and white.
They stall and block the traffic.
National news rejoins the plight.

The government won’t accept it.
Propaganda plays it down.
Booked if you stall on Main Street.
Just drivers fooling around.

Those in denial start having nightmares.
They confer what haunts their minds.
And those who cover up Main Street
Start seeing two flashing lights.

A reporter unearths a story
which they hope he’ll never write.
During a power cut in the city
there was an accident in the night.

A red and white car on Main Street
approached the traffic lights.
Green, and then there’s nothing.
A crash, the driver dies.

The reporter sinks to pressure.
Hasn’t the stomach for a fight.
As he crosses an empty Main Street
He sees two flashing lights.

People rush towards him.
No hope, that’s where he died.
The car that run him down there
Was painted red and white.

The government seeks forgiveness
And repents for many days.
Now Main Streets nice and peaceful.
Just a walkway and two graves.

1978, September

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