Haibun for the Grantham Station Platform

That summer, island-strange and out of sync, I mapped myself—heather-heavy moorland to the north, the Fens just east. I sat at the station on clouded afternoons, the metal bench cold beneath the corrugated overhang. My fingers clenched their cardboard coffee cup. The clock’s numbers flipped their white legs on their board, East Coast trains squealing in from King’s Cross. Nottingham lay down the latticework of track to the right, Peterborough left, and every hour, another train ambled east on the Poacher Line.

When the numbers ripened and the air grew unsteady, I stepped out into a sky netted with cable, the world just lines curving out of sight. The hum became a whir became a roar, and at the lip of yellow paint, as near to the platform edge as I could stand, I let that express train bullet by.

                                                                                  Its wind opened my throat,
                                                                                  a ravishing, and day-old papers
                                                                                  fluttered in its wake.  end