The Only Way to Travel

Of all the modes of mechanical transport,
The railway has the manners.
Motorways, A-roads, B-roads
All spread themselves like dissected snakes
Shoving aside
Trees, fields, oxygen, us,
And howling as they go.
The railway cuts,
But cuts small,
A stitch in the fabric so barely there
That we allow it
My ghost-horse – what others call the train –
Takes me through gardens and football games,
Wetlands with unruffled swans,
The under-green of woods.
Any glimpse out the window is the reading of a book spine;
My paperback lies lonely.
There is one more beautiful thing
About the railway –
How the railway ends.
Haven’t we all seen
A set of forgotten tracks,
Decaying from the maps,
Giving itself to the buddleia and the butterfly.
Honouring the lease.


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