It's getting dark the Indian lady says,
reverently watching the sea, which is
close, so close, almost to the track;
and though I've had my fill of salt
I nod. She gives me a marshmallow.
This is Coach F and the next stop
will be Berwick
In the Echo I read
a detective in an interview room
made advances to a girl charged with theft;
and a woman at the end of her tether
assaulted her partner with stalks of rhubarb.
Darker still, and windows
are mirrors. We are joined by doppelgangers
who sit by us in the glass, who possibly
have packed their night clothes
into our suit-cases without asking. A trolley
cleaves through the coach
leaving us in its wake, its attendant chants
tea, coffee, sandwiches, cake. The Indian lady
snoozes, the old lady across the aisle
takes her phone from a velvet case,
delicately as pearls, and tells it her ETA.
Outside, the blackness
could be anywhere, could even be Venice
where recently we ran out of pretence
where he said he'd never liked
the wristwatch I gave him, had secretly
always hated my preoccupation with time
where I told him I'd have
no more presents from his mother's collection
of old brooches and keepsakes.
So, a gift given is not the gift received
and the buffet car is now closed.
Once again, collect your belongings
and when you reach the station
mind the gap.
In Venice they had written, it is forbidden
to give explanations in the Basilica.
Diane Granger was born and brought up in Hartlepool and, although she has lived much of her life in London and other places in England, is now living back 'home' in the north-east. Until recently she worked as a therapist in Reflexology and Reiki healing.
She started to write a few years ago, mainly poetry and short stories. So far she has had published one short story in the Bishop Auckland anthology, Practise to Deceive, and a poem in the football fanzine, Monkey Business. This year she had a poem commended in the Vers poetry competion.
Berwick Train came out of one of Kathleen Kenny's workshops held at the Lit and Phil.
Diane's previous Poem of the Month is Landscapes.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Berwick Train © 2012 Diane Granger: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.