Tunnel Vision by by James D. Taylor
the Station Master, legs
longer than the station platform,
the lonely station house,
eight o'clock and oily lamp light,
little, fleeting shadows
stealing quickly up the winding stairs.
Our no-age signal man
living life in a wreath of pipe smoke,
lord of the line,
patiently taught us how to pull
the heavy levers to change phantom points
with a satisfying clack.
Jack's Summer flower beds
stretched out along the platforms,
hardy plants, conditioned to smoke, steam
and the sound of rattling goods trains,
the occasional thundering roll
of an express, followed by soft, petalled silence .
It's gone of course,
the station forecourt,
its dusty, gravelled yard, the shining line,
shadows of the past,
yellow haired straw boys
running across the bridge
to wave good-bye.