The men in the window:
White rush flickering through their transparency,
England, their England, spilling like slipstream,
A homeland turned to dark vast cold speed.
Each halt brings resolution,
Lanterns throwing sepia cones
Through white flutterings;
You half expect to see the faun,
Umbrella raised, trot into view,
His winter interminable
(Instead more ghosts gather, grimly,
Discernable in the window).
The onward rush:
Unexpected hours pass until
England — our England? — is revealed anew.
The ghosts, in cut-glass clip,
Remark upon the strangeness:
The familiar made pristine alien in half-light
As if slipping through a wardrobe;
The shadowlands glimpsed for once
Through a glass, less darkly.
With morning sun
The ghosts fade fast,
Shrill ringtones, the workaday maul,
Eroding, Winter’s thrall.
The train, at last, broaching London at a crawl:
“We’ve not seen the like since the last time.”
“It’s a wonder we made it at all!”