Waddon Marsh Halt

written by © Peter Howard; first published in the Poetry Nottingham magazine 1988, then in collection Low Probability of Racoons

There is beauty in the early morning marsh:
A woman sleeping under misty sheets.
I pick my way through sticky mud on tiptoe
So not to waken her.
But my dog lacks such consideration
And barks to frighten the rabbits.
Last night when I crept home alone,
Imaginary footpads close behind me,
I thought I heard a dragon roar
Somewhere in the distance.
I panicked and ran, heedless of mud and puddles
Until I reached the safety of my door.

"This station is unstaffed:"
The footpath not dedicated to the public.
Evening is falling and the overcoat in front
Glances at me, nervously.
I negotiate the dog-turds
As homebound traffic growls impatiently.
I remember the snail crossed my path here this morning,
Painting a silver trail through the mist.
Spider webs shone, bright as broken glass
And I saw behind the railings,
Between the TV and the rusting pram
A cluster of unofficial raspberries.