Market Hill


a selection of photos of the location of a poem along Market Hill, Scunthorpe

Rush Hour

Steve Sylvan-McGeough

Locked in my steel can,
Part of the never-ending tick-tock start-stop.
Looking through my mud smeared, glass window,
Painting head pictures of the other goldfish who flap their mouths silently to the radio,
Choking themselves in their smoke cells…
…The author locked in my head pens them stories faster than the reality of life…
The bloke beside me in the red astra, he’s just split from his wife,
Married fourteen years,
Through Blood, sweat and beers
Reduced to munching a breakfast bar,
in solitude,
in his car
His suit jacket hangs limp and flaccid from the interior light, dancing against one of the kids sleeping bags,
now his only warmth at night.

The woman behind, kissing my bumper,
She ditched the slob bottoms and the woolly jumper

Weekdays mean sleek days for her.
She needs to be sharp, in control, top of her game when at work.
Work means worth.
A sense of purpose.
She is required.
And she’ll work until late at the office, busting a gut, not allowed to feel tired.
To rest is to show weakness.
And so she works.
Avoiding home, avoiding the bleakness., The loneliness which pounces and suffocates when she crosses the threshold
Swinging in fast, relentless in it’s stranglehold.

And then the sun comes crashing across my view, held aloft like the World Cup
By a man in a hi-viz with a name badge declaring he’s Stu.
Stu dominates the road, with the authority of a cop.
Defying any of us to cross his path, defying any of us to not STOP.

I wonder what would happen if I put my foot down, crossed his invisible barrier.
Does Stu call in an airstrike?
Me chased down by a jump jet harrier.
I’d go off-road, through Central Park,
boot it along the avenue.
Avoid the birds but I’d definitely clip a student or two.

I’d handbrake it back onto Queensway
Quick check through the rearview and be on my way,
headed for the highway. FREEDOM!!!! from the Lollipop.
F*** Stu and his order to STOP.
I stop for no man, no van, no can do.
Not even this fluorescent bloke with a badge that names him Stu.

And then suddenly there’s a tap tap
Knocking me out my reverie.
The bloke whose wife has left him is at my window staring in at me.
“Come on mate you’re holding us up” he says.
I shake myself, return to now, I escape from my daze,
Apologise to Stu,
wave to woman in rearview
Into first and off I drive,
Another drone, feeding the hive


Artwork Location

Address:  Market Hill, Scunthorpe DN15 6SS

What3Words: ///habit.drama.crowned

Go to the Of Earth and Sky art trail map