As the train rocks over sleepers,
I realise that I’ve always scorned
The carriage is a museum piece.
The only other passenger
is a man in a black raincoat, reading.
I settle into my seat,
and through grubby windows,
watch the downs fly by.
They soon give way to a suburban
sprawl. The man is watching me.
He has the penetrating eyes
of a policeman. I look away.
As we rattle by the giant chimneys
of Battersea, the train slows,
and a yawning steel terminus
moves into view. Over the muddy river,
tame, idle, brown, and he is still looking.