Last Chance Train

This is the thirteen
fifteen
service from

Newcastle

to

London Kings Cross

calling at Durham

Darlington
York

Retford
Newark North Gate

Grantham
Peterborough
Huntingdon

and arriving at London
Kings Cross
at

sixteen

twenty

seven.

Thank you for travelling with National Express.

+

I have measured out my life,
not with silver tea spoons,
but with plastic coffee stirrers,
pasties eaten in station cafes,
missed trains and London Transport
announcement services.

we are sorry to announce that the eleven twenty seven
south eastern service to Dartford will be delayed by
approximately seventeen minutes. This is due to a signal failure

I have lived out my days in huddled corners
of glass and steel stations,
waiting for loved ones,
and unknown ones,
and unbeloved ones,
sitting on chrome pipes.
Waiting.

I have measured out my life
in tickets bought and lost,
in oyster cards that will not work,
in last trains home and
first trains back.

In weekends away and
the first day back at school.
The unknown bruises shaped
like a radiator
turning my shoulders to a sunset
glowing blushing rosy down
to night.

London. Lights and houses.
Towerblocks a salute to the sky.
Overhead wires crisscrossing taking
birds by surprise.

Tubes, click clacking through
tunnels, snug as a gun,

you once said.

I have lived out my life at these stations.
Click clacking trains through
the familiar track.

Charing Cross
Leicester Square
Holborn
Goodge Street
Warren Street
Euston
Mornington Crescent
Camden Town

these names are my words,
these words are my songs,
these songs are my prayers,
these prayers keep me strong…

I remember your eyes at Angel Station,
and how they closed.

+

I have measured out my days in stations
and tunnels and closed eyes waiting
for the tube to start again.

Anti terrorist announcements and
security alerts.

In hours spent waiting, and hours
spent travelling,
the knot of excitement churning
childish in my stomach.

It’s just a train,
but I know where it’s leading.
My very own last chance train.


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