To Occupation Road again,
a whole year nearer my own
retirement now. The track slopes
down past the Record Office
to the river. I am looking for
any of the soft fruit canes
my grandfather planted, but find
instead a stag beetle upside
down on the tarmac, struggling
like a memory, the feelers at full stretch.
Maybugs! she shudders. The pathway
ends at the Thames, where I note
flood defences, vaguely recall
the waterworks, and suddenly they
have found me as a train breaks
through the overgrown embankment.
I want to look up and see my father
at the glass, returning, and wave to him.