AND THEN WAS THE WINTER
And then was the Winter
asphalt buried for months on end
hope frozen into a rictus
birds all black, a St.Vitus dance
in greying skies vainly searching,
sludge in the veins
trees by fossilized distance framed
telegraph poles bending low
draping sinews in dislocating snow.
Here at Buckingham (British Railways)
a good train delayed and overdue,
its distant beak a confusion of steam
fretted in the aching snow
Perilous cold leaching the ground
and then the distant signal rose
a plume of white refreshed the sky
exploding from the chimney and cocks
A departure from Banbury a dream away.
Now,with dead weight on the move
grudgingly it shouldered forward its heap of spoil
scalding the platform near where I stood
bound for Bletchley and Verney Junction
in the Winter of sixty two and three.