And Normal Service Must Resume

And normal service must resume at once.

Between the cold and draughty waiting rooms

Stern men with grave and greyer voices wait

For a change, for a thaw, for news from the radio, but


Unanswered broadcasts are sent without reply.

Some wooden benches dragged around a stove

The porous insulation of last stands

Diluted and dissolved in snow globe skies.


Yellow fingernails through old gloves poke

The dial melts as fast as church stained glass

Harsh static, flicker and mirage of sound

Cankers exponential loss of hope.


Delayed, delayed again, the homebound train

The waiting riders who regale with cultural

Tales and touchpoints, progressivelly removed

‘Til home becomes myth, legend and empty stage


The dented tea urn barely simmers now –

Its steam slowed down and hanging in mid-air.

The clock, long stopped, still strikes and fills the room

And lights that once burned bright replaced by shadow.


Outside, below the platform and fresh snow

On steel tracks, on settled sleepers of stone

Lines defy perspective and dim time

And normal service must resume at once.



© 2015 Stuart Rawlinson


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