Brian Wake (Liverpool)
At thirteen forty five our train begins to move, and, late
to board, what seats remain face not toward but from.
I shuffle off and fold my overcoat and sit, do battle
with a newspaper to find a decent page and settle down
Behind me, music hisses from a faulty earphone. A child
describes the passing fields; a city child surprised by space
and countryside, surprised by, look mum, cows and sheep.
Across the aisle a blue-haired lady with an open book
is fast asleep.
From where I sit, my awkward view is of the places
we have travelled through. What views await us are, as yet,
unknown, the present blurred, the past quite clear. I travel
backwards in a crowded train.
I sit with some who seem to travel backwards all their lives;
they sit asleep or read with children counting sheep and cows.
For them and me, perhaps, what was and what is now
are somehow all there is.
Comments about this poem (Travelling Backwards by Brian Wake )
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