SMOKE FILLED SALOONS

The house I once lived in

when at Streatham had

behind a rear garden and

busy railway line to town,

and back, where commuters

took their private thoughts

along with them fare-free.

Some guards would saunter

through the corridors and

try to see the ones who had

not enough to pay and hit

them with a fine that broke

their heart, with court rooms

facing them if fee not met.

Occasionally a dodger of the

fare would run full pelt in

order to escape the net and

so incur a hefty debt. The

one’s I always felt sorry for

were foreigners who hadn’t

got a clue about the rules

and they sometimes had to

stand before Beak at court.

Commuters I disliked most

were Toffs with newspapers

who took nearly half another

seat in days when smoking

was allowed, and shrouded all

and sundry with their fumes.

Nuisance Noras liked to

paint their faces whilst

travelling, and one day

between stations on a

busier route, a City  Gent

stared at the ceiling as

he drifted off from life.

◄ ZENDA

DRIFTING ►

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