By: Michael Brett
Deep in the Piccadilly Line, one Friday night,
Among the pulsing trains,
I saw my mother, dead for twenty-four years,
Standing on the tracks in a tunnel.
She stood where the platform lights connect with sound and dark,
Like the stripes on Union Flags.
My Uncle stood next to her,
With one hand in his sports jacket pocket, smoking a cigarette,
Not realising he was dead;
Neither I think did she. A train ran over her,
Still she stood there, soaking wet in a hospital nightdress,
With her hair unravelled, like a kind of rope.
She took a cigarette from Uncle and, together,
They stood smoking among the trains beside them,
And the trains running over them,
Like stained glass sunlight, passing through two broken windows;
Unaware of me, themselves or anyone.
Sometimes I think of them, for long moments,
As if writing imaginary letters, but they never answer.
They only stand smoking in that darkened tunnel
On the Piccadilly Line,
With train lights charging behind them, through them, past them;
And the sparks of trains barking in short phrases, like another language:
Whale songs, sirens.
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