Inroads

Saskia Hamilton

This is a small country, he said,
there are too many trains. And then
they get old, and things break down.
And the system is complex, and that
makes for breaks and failures.
Plants encroach on the tracks,
the land encroaches, sweet gale, cotton grass.

*

On Monday she surveyed the calendar
tabling the hours of departure for
the first and last trains between
the three cities that sprawled together.
If I miss the connection, she said,
I can wait and have a coffee inside.
Pigeons walked platform 7 for the 08:28.

*

The moss encroached on trees, giant beech,
slender beech, old leaves encroached,
ivy and holly joined in dominion,
one birch marked itself, another signaled from afar,
leaves in ruts, leaves in ditches, ditchwater
and water on the path leading
either out of the forest or farther within.

 

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