See it skulk away beyond the stewing river, failing
to hide its fraying underclothes, its grey jigsaw
of rooftops, ventilator pipes and rusting fire-escapes.
From the window seat of a coast-bound train, it
seems made from a sheet of crumpled foil, floating
across the looming skyline, punctured randomly by
chimney stacks and humourless towers, Victorian
attics studded with satellite dishes and praying mantis
aerials. Defunct white goods collect like bewildered
sheep in backyard pens ringed with brambles.
Even above the barking of the wheels at the rails,
its mutterings are audible, its fists shaking angrily at
midwinter stratus, forgetting yesterday, when every
single slate shone like a pilgrim, after the morning’s rain.
Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, Whale Road Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found at https://wezzlehead.wordpress.com/