On a train and there’s green outside
and it’s rushing, rushing, rushing by.
No going back now – high-speed
bound to him, to awkward hugs
and uncertain cups of tea.
Whatever will or will not be.
Careful not to brush too much skin.
Sun dazzling squint tears to eyes.
Unexpected break in overcast skies.
The carriage is quiet: a silence
I plug with earphones and drums
to match my juddering insides,
my restless toes jittering dance-steps
I could never do: bad timing, no grace.
It’s just a physical reaction to stress
or excitement or endorphins
or too much stale railway coffee
bouncing in my veins, my blood.
My brain’s all fugged. My head is mush.
The train’s not even late. White Rabbits
would be cartwheeling down the aisle.
Oh yes, indeed, a very important date.
And all the time, the fields and trees
and streams, the grazing sheep outside,
all blurred, still racing, racing, racing by.
Fast-forwarding me, like time-travel,
a TARDIS and maybe I need a Doctor.
A body catapulted to collide like flung
lost property on a station platform
in a town I don’t know, I don’t know.
A suitcase with a faulty zip,
could burst open at any time
to spew odd shoes, best knickers
and other inappropriate notions.
My mouth full of stupid words.
Hot palms itching with unspent touch.
Must hold it together. Hold it in tight.
Florence in my panicked ears:
fertility, springtime, courage.
“I must become a lion-hearted girl”*
And I really must. I really must be.
To stop it all rushing, rushing, rushing.
Racing past forever. In the rearview,
a blink of a woman that might’ve been.
My stop is coming up. Won’t miss it.
*Lyric borrowed from Florence and the Machine’s wonderful “Rabbit Heart, which always puts me in mind of spring!
And finally, I’m pleased to say that my poem “Headset” has been selected by Ten Of the Best Short Poetry for their March top ten. This was an unexpected pleasure, but I see I am in good company with the other nine. The link is here…