Creative Writing Assignment: Describe A Stranger - Poem by John Dixon
Moorfields station, Circle Line.
You were the last one out
from the earth
where the city dreamed you
in the tunnels of its sleep.
Low brow, my notebook says,
and grey-black hair.
Stony, clean-shaven face
and bull neck, buttoned
into a serge jacket, railway-surplus blue.
You should be still, laid out like that
in decent prose,
but whispers in Dale Street,
inklings in St. Johns
say that the city wove
from the fibres of its grief one like itself,
whose life and death we live and die.
And are you he?
For at home, in the house where you were born,
the chestnut stair
beneath your stained-glass fanlight
shows a screw head,
[Nettlefold, countersunk, number fourteen, brass
a three-eighth driver blade was used
which burred the slot].
Baby, boy and man,
your feet burnished its actuality
to reflect time passing down the stairs,
but you look from a lone landing window
onto terraced streets
that run by autumn twilight into cinder paths
between allotment sheds and nettle beds,
hard by the railway sidings of the years.
Remember me when you come into your kingdom.
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