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last update:
20 Mar17

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and in the shop…
pamphlet collection –
“Sweet Coffee”
Smiths Knoll




The 21.55 to Your Destination has been cancelled

But a train hurtles slowly
onto the platform
with a battered-looking engine freshly tarted up
under a coat of blue paint,
and ancient carriages
lit by small old-fashioned lamps
with fringed lampshades;
a train out of a more gracious time,
when the carriages had names –
Jessica, Victoria – implying, who knows?
personalities. (Someone
winks through lampshade-lashes.)
I stop chewing
my egg-and-cress sandwich and stare.
This must be a ghost train.
These are ghosts getting on.
I stash the other sandwich-half
in my bag, tempted
to see how it feels being a ghost,
and find my parents ensconced
in their comfortable seats.
In this giant pocket of time
they love each other again, and love this lark –
us all ghosts together
on a train with a dining-car.
We order (never mind the time)
a full English breakfast,
porridge kippers mushrooms, the works –
and then, to have time
to enjoy it, take tickets on
for Glasgow, Ben More, Fort William.
We’re sorry for the delay.

Margaret Wilmot

published in The Frogmore Papers 86, 2015