By Mike Smith
BOYS DAY OUT Old men really hunting viaducts among the trees they straddle gorges laze in shallow valleys keeping still as if avoiding being seen We tramp for miles upstream downstream behind the river bends their cool stone breathes sighs of relief Tunnels would do instead lurking under ground bricks tumbling in, their portals caged (as if they might break for freedom) old stations, water towers, signal boxes even a platelayer’s hut the track bed itself, recognisable across fields Ruins are ruins, Roman and the rest Somebody else’s past written in rock like but not our own who knows what we might find among these left-over lives where no next train arrives But we are not waiting for signals to change or rusted points to re-align though we are on a platform of some kind a destination in our minds By this day’s end we shall have caught some train of thought back down the line of time imagining journeys we might have made remembering journeys we might have made knowing where it all began but not quite sure how it came to here
Mike Smith lives on the edge of England where he writes occasional plays, poetry, and essays, usually on the short story form in which he writes as Brindley Hallam Dennis. His writing has been published and performed. He blogs at www.Bhdandme.wordpress.com. This poem was composed around Whitrope in July, 2022.
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