We will shortly be arriving

At a quiet dead end

Where the fallen coin on the platform

Has been there for over a year

And the door to the booking office

Swings open when you approach

Where the bench is empty

And always will be so

But you may sit down here

To regain your breath

You had some when you started

So you want it back

And a tabby cat will come padding

Down the platform and through the wall

Then a long-dead friend will join you

And turn to a mother you knew

On the other side of the wall

Where the cat has gone

A murmur of several voices

It’s not the kids in the yard

But maybe the gates of heaven

Or a shift change on the ward.

The railway station here is based on my own local station, on a branch line. Significantly, it’s the stop before the end of the line. The poem is my attempt to explore what it would be like to be very old and drifting in an out of consciousness, not making a clear distinction between outside world and dream images.

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  1. There’s a movement in this poem….a going forward that works…

    • Thanks, Neel. It was inspired by my local railway station and by thinking about what it would be like to be flitting in and out of consciousness without fully understanding what was going on.


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