I set out to visit my son.
I am early
I would rather be
one hour early
than two minutes late.
Negotiate the price
with the girl in the ticket office.
Good job really
I had checked on the options
some time previously.
I bump into a friend
on the station concourse,
haven’t seen each other for some time.
I often think about leaving Leeds
to go live by the sea,
but this sort of random meeting
reminds me of the friendship base
I have established in this city.
I begin to chat to a young student
on the train, from South Wales
studying medicine, she said,
but interested enough in poetry
to key my details into her mobile phone
and look me up on the internet.
She turns the screen toward me,
says that is one of your photos.
I smile, say yes, but wonder
am I more real for her now
than I was just sitting talking.
Conversation expands to include
others at the table. A young girl
from Chile asks me what she should
go see to get an appreciation of Chester.
I recommend walking round the walls.
A lady at the next table intercedes
to suggest the shopping malls
in the town centre.
Whatever turns her on I guess.
I change trains at Manchester,
Enough time for a visit to the loo
and a hasty cigarette.
This is a safety announcement,
due to today’s wet weather
surfaces may be slippy, please
take care when walking in the station.
An announcement which I think
has more to do with fear of being sued
than genuine concern for visitors.
A rainbow appears as we
pull out of the station
and cross the motorway.
I am pleased not to be driving today.
I no longer get the pleasure
from driving which I used to.
Too many cars, too much rush.
My son gives me a birthday present.
I don’t think I gave you one at the time
I cannot remember either,
but a birthday present
is acceptable any time of the year.