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Sarah Day

Easter Train



Like a propaganda film
for some revivalist sect or
the glossy pages of communist monthlies
that used to lie about home,
rows of moon faces beaming
from rice paddy and manual corn harvest -
we are a smiling democracy
of holiday train travellers;
children igniting at every tunnel and toot,
parents benign, reflective
or zealots, pointing and proselytising along the way,
noisy enthusiasm's the order of the day;
at critical moments, concentration's palpable
in sudden stillness - the crossing of a bridge,
change of points, shunting -
that back-to-the-engine abandonment
to the slow motion selection of the right track;
irrepressible, the Robert Stevenson M5
belches steam all the way
and how benign the onlookers
who wave and wave from roadside,
backyard and pasture.