Early Morning: a Very
Short Stay in the Unknown
Our train pulled into a station with no visible name.
On every one of its just-painted lamp posts hung no sign.
Its smooth, black, tarmac platform carried no marks:
no numbers, no codes, nor yellow lines; no dropped chewing gum.
We rolled to a stop facing a notice board, empty
but for a strip of white paper that flapped in the wind,
its words blurred off by rain, like it’d abandoned
literacy to adopt its own solo semaphore.
The green metal and glass shelter, on its end, bore
one fluorescent graffito, which I read as ‘deal’
but which may have been ‘devil’. The train’s brakes squealed
Silence! while my fellow passenger continued his sleep.
No one clambered in nor jumped out; no door opened;
no one met nor left; walking past – no guard nor station staff;
no shouts, no whistles, no tannoy. Then the train clanked alive,
rattled forward, and no-name station now lay behind.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, E.A.M Harris would be
pleased to hear them.