The Station

So much steam and shafts

of sooty light. The porters

look like Laurel and Hardy

and I like the train driver’s

leathery smell, the glow

of hot coals, the crowded

platforms. Our mums

and dads are on the move,

escaping wars, seeking

lost weekends, travelling

somewhere sad along

with the dead. When

I blink whole epochs

are shunted off. On

the holiday special

where I once sat

there’s a dazed aged man. He’s

looking lost as landscapes

hurtle past. All those

hills and fields and cows

on stilts. No wonder

his mind is never at rest. Perhaps

an old Punch and Judy Show

still waits, as promised,

at the very next stop?