and in the shop…
pamphlet collection –
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?
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.