August 4th to Paddington
by John Van der Kiste
Sunday, May 26, 2002
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This morning’s tabloid lies,
Thumbed at the horoscope page
With ribald laughter.
Two seats away, the man in uniform
Lights a languid cigarette –
“Tickets, please – ta.”
Faces, once impassive,
Flicker into action for a minute;
Beside the window, the man in a suit
Closes his book without expression
And looks outside.
Beyond the empty landscapes of industry –
Lorries, purpose-built, all the same –
In vain, he looks to the sky
For a break in the symmetry – cloud-searching –
But goes instead to the coffee stains on the floor.
Voices down the carriage fade away…
And wheels thunder on…roll on…roll on…