Trent Valley Station

I'm telling you there was magic there
in the yellow gas lit air,
for Harold and John and Ben and I
who once had time to spare.

In the smoke and sulphur evening's shroud,
in the hurly burly of the crowd,
the taste, the smell, the noise, the heat,
the people shouting loud.

The porter cried out "Mind the doors!"
The signal lights shone bold
and slowly out into the night
the iron monster rolled.

With clouds of smoke and hiss of steam
the sparks and cinders flew,
and with her as she gathered speed
she took our hearts to Crewe.

Onward flying through the dark
along the northern line,
"And not a stop till Glasgow lads
we'll make it well on time".

The bacon sizzled merrily
on shovel shining bright,
with buttered bread, and can of tea
to make our feast that night.

The loaded trolleys rattled past
to trunks' and cases' sway.
A bag of mail for Aberdeen.
A pigeon bound for Bray.

A military gentleman
impatient to be off.
A gentle little schoolgirl
with a gentle little cough.

A crowd of nurses giggled past
engrossed in idle chatter,
and no one saw us sitting there—
it really didn't matter.

For Harold, John and Ben and I
preferred to be unseen,
to think our thoughts and dream our dreams
and just absorb the scene.

For this, our meeting place each week
was never once the same,
its constant changing scenery
a background to our game.

But time must pass and we grew up;
the years must have their claim,
and this old station that we love
will never be the same.

And Harold, John and Ben and I
may all of us forget,
the magic times that once we shared
But please dear God.
                                Not yet.

Harry Bird was born in Yorkshire, England and educated at Nuneaton Grammar School. He Retired in 1995 after a career in plant engineering. Married with two sons he is now now living in a small village in N. Warwickshire. His poetry and short stories have been published in British and South African magazines and he has had much success in festivals with his work.

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