Lovers at a Station

October 2, 2009

Earlier this morning, I was going through old poems in an attempt to regroup, redraft and see where my work had gotten to. I’ve been finding lots of stuff and reworking or putting aside for later. It’s been like climbing into an attic and discovering a trunk of forgotten clothes. I found this, written about a year and half ago.

Lovers at a Station

He does not wear
a loose gray suit or trilby,
cases are not made
of handstitched leather,
shoes aren’t laced,
or polished brogues.

He wears
trainers. Denim jeans.
An old grey shirt
not tucked in.

I do not wear
a floral dress with short white gloves,
don’t dab my eye
or wave them bravely at his back.

There should be engines
shunting in the dark
pistons, pipes,
air escaping in a bark.

There should be steam,
a drift of smoke,
platform hung with silver mist.

But we do kiss.

And when the 6.15 pulls in
I’m being led towards a chair,
thick blond noose around the neck,
last rites fall from killing lips

There is no smoke, blown across the platform
no shudder from a valve, or man
in flat, blue cap,
leaning from a window,
whistle in a hand, but we do

grab each other one last time
surprise each other with the force,
imagine there’s no audience. He does
prevent the door from closing,
stand inside the opening, tell me:

don’t forget.

And we wave and wave and wave.
We do.
Till both of us are gone.

5 Responses to “Lovers at a Station”

  1. Martin said

    I lurve this poem! Very evocative. You have to concentrate to get into the picture from 30’s cinema, but the reward is worth it – tender romance and an instant of real life captured.

  2. Ash said

    Great poem , very clever. I loved the picture it created in my head.

  3. Carla said

    What a lovely poem! The final is very suggestive:

    And we wave and wave and wave…We do. Till both of us are gone.

  4. thanks all, very lovely of you to comment. Glad you picked up that last line Carla, not sure what the reader will understand from it, especially with the title, but whatever is ok 🙂

  5. whisk82 said

    Ooh, very ‘A Brief Encounter’.
    Train stations do make you yearn for a bit more drama and romance. When I used to conduct a long distance relationship centered much around the getting there and then the goodbyes. I often thought, it would be better in a film, cos in real life it just sucks. Not the relationship, but the all the time-consuming travel.

    Maybe steam wasn’t all it is cracked up to be, we do like to look at the past (a past we weren’t a part of) with rose tinted glasses. But when you’re stood in the gangway of a packed one carriage affair (an east midlands train from notts, for example) The daydream of a bygone time, filled with texture and made from sturdy stuff, is a rich and heady one.

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