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The bus slows at the dancing

blue and ignis fatuus

of yellow vest and chequered

bodywork. There’s one car

in the ditch and one with an L

slewed across the featureless

straight run from Cambridge.

Our driver rolls down

the glass – five or six hours,

it’s as bad as it gets – and lets

the swish and flip and grim

theatricality as emergency

vehicles keep arriving

(cutting tools, the doors

of an ambulance swung back)

enter the overheated bus

alongside cold rumour.

Caxton Gibbet watches.

So do the chicken bones

of that restaurant we had booked

for the day of the fire. Blinded

by oncoming might-have-beens

and unscripted write-offs,

we are redirected out

of the terrifying limelight

backstage towards Papworth,

hoping there’s a way through

Yelling perhaps or Graveley.