Apr 302014

A Day in Town Poem Sam Backhouse Image


Quarter past two, and I walk through the station,
Taste of honey toast still touching my tongue.
I sit down on the cold wet metal seat
And wait for the train with repeated voices
Blazing through the speakers. ‘The next train will be
Arriving in fifteen minutes.’
I find a paper to read:
War still going on…taxes rise…more babies born.
Then the train comes, and I climb aboard.
The taste of honey has left my tongue.
I watch the houses run away as we flash past,
And I like to think of them moving and not the train.
Soon the train stops and I exit it and take to the town
With chewing gum and condom wrapper streets.
Statues of men fought in battles coated in bird droppings
And wearing traffic cones for hats.
Stripy police cars buzz around like wasps
And the cars stare at my actions as they jet past.
As I walk on down the High street I am surrounded by
Parrots walking around on two legs and wearing clothes.
‘Face book,’ is all they keep on saying.
The smell of the pasties fills my nostrils and pulls me in.
My stomach gurgles as I wait in the queue.
After I leave, I hide away in the park with the flying rats
Who appear when the pasty crumbs hit the ground,
Being cannon fodder for the running teens.
After I finish I walk on through the town.
I leave my silent meditation of the still park
To return back to the craze with the screaming traffic lights
And the enraged motorists who never have time to be safe.
The shops are littered with brightness. Choked with people.
Cash machines sing as they vomit endless papers,
And pensioners flood the pavements.
I am pushed off the path by the tearing pram pushers
And the grizzly dog owners with the bad beer breath.
The cigarette smokers hanging out of the pubs,
Standing in a thick grey smog.
The stiletto wearers are always following me.
They are like walking clocks.
The Big Issue sellers shout out their lines,
And the pub owners roll out their kegs of booze onto the streets.
Another one empty? Another one full?
The empty shops with cracked windows look sad on their own.
The half read newspapers flap about in the breeze.
I flick a coin in the sad man’s hat,
And watch his sadness turn to hope.
I walk back to the station, return ticket in hand,
And I hop on the train and return home.
Good old home. Why’d I ever leave you in the first place?

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