Touched on the 19:45

They sat down next to her,

him, the urine and the walking stick.

‘Go on, move up away from me if you like, I don’t mind’.

But she stayed, contained, a tremble in her hand,

assured by the measure of witnesses.

He slithered on the seat,

‘Met this amazing band by the station…

sad, didn’t have my harmonica’.

(they’re good, aren’t they)

And she slunk to text.

‘How d’you manage all that wiv your thumbs?’

(i’m always doing it)

‘Where d’you work, then?’

(in a theatre box office)

‘Now, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – luv to see it, mount of people

they having running backstage, I’ve heard. D’y know…’

He stole the hour, war-wound and all, high hands talking,

and took her and us home to his telly.

‘Course, I’d rather be there and make love’ he said, ‘but not all day’.


Orpington arrived and she walked off down the platform.

He followed through the glass, ‘Bless you, twinkle twinkle… ahh, she was lovely’,

and he stomped his stick on the blue gummed floor.