Poetry: Ayrton Senna Killed at Imola | clivejames.com
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Ayrton Senna Killed at Imola

Thousands of miles away in Buenos Aires
Juan Manuel Fangio, five times world champion,
Watched Senna hit the Armco and sit still.
The world over, we were all interpreting
The silence. Fangio needed only that first glance
And turned the TV off.
Such stillness was a language,
The signal that the angel had departed.

As I write this now
Schumacher is out walking at his home
On Lake Geneva,
Getting the exercise he just might need
If ever his mind comes back.

Moss when he spun across the grass
At Donington with me beside him looking
As if I had seen my own ghost;
Or Derek Warwick on the autostrada
Driving me down to Monza;
Or Alan Jones in that brutal Lamborghini
In Adelaide when we entertained the crowd
With our brilliant imitation of a champion driving
His panic-stricken friend to hospital ...
But now all these faces are from long ago
And even
When Damon, in my dreams, comes back to drive me
Under police escort to the airport in Hungary,
I can’t believe how very young he looks.

Deborah, my elder daughter’s friend,
A magnet for adventurous men,
Was taken to a Grand Prix one weekend.
She got so bored she lay down for a sleep
Beside a pile of tyres.
When she woke up again she couldn’t see.
Her eyes were full of rain.