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Rattle, Roll

The train’s call is a thin pre-dawn bellow.

It slides up a riverbed slick with rain and secret in mist.

There is the urgency of momentum – thrum of diesel ever more strident as a rise steals the power.

No passengers, just a driver in a room of iron, eyes following a yellow beam.

It is a parade of bent trees, sheds in shadow – ever on, ever on – liquids and grains in long grey tombs.

South today.

Not that you would know if it were going or returning: it is just a lump of sound caught between the lines,

pressing past shadowy roads, fields floating in snaking mist, figures at windows – alone, together, moving.

The rattle,  the precision, a driver, eyes fixed on nothing.

A low cantankerous moan in the night



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