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The Trains are on Time on Cup Final Day

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 It was a perfect day for a perfect journey,
A trip back to the future on a train,
Past ridge and furrowed fields
About to lose their shape,
Beneath the celandine and cowslip;
Past mill race and turnpike and level crossing signal box,
Past lock gates and shadowed bluebell woods
And closed down stations with lonely pubs outside,
With names like The Ghost Train;
Talking of which,
I got off at Swindon,
To discover that the Severn Tunnel was reopened,
Adlestrop-unwontedly,
Just because it was Cup Final Day;
Which shows that you don’t need Fascism,
Mussolini or Berlusconi or egg-head Prescott,
To make the trains run on time,
You just need a cup final every day;
In Cardiff.
I walked out and on and into the Railway Village,
Past the “All Travellers Quest Guest House”
(Vacancies)
And on into the Railway Museum,
Past some rusting Brunel broad gauge,
7 feet and a quarter inch,
(We could do with a centre forward like that)
And on to the old pattern makers and moulders workshop,
Now the Pattern Makers’ Arms,
Where addled Arsenal fans
(Far too —— to travel to Diss)
Saluted the Arsenal Football Special,
As it sped past, hot rails for Cardiff,
At half past one,
(Good job the tunnel’s opened)
And where a freight train passed,
Unwontedly,
Carrying coal,
From Poland, via Fishguard, for Newcastle,
We thought.
I bought some red and white carnations,
And placed them in my old train driver’s billy can,
And performed my set in the museum,
With slam winning Brenda Reade–Brown,
Just by the 1969 Wembley Football Special,
Swindon versus Arsenal, red and white rosettes,
Where a boyhood model of me sat in a first class carriage,
Pulled by King George the Fifth in all its brass dome glory;
Outside, I saw a police-surgeon’s husband,
Sitting politely amongst the sun bathers,
Reading my book of railway poems.
I said I saw someone reading a book written by me!
In a public place! Unexpectedly!
Unsolicitedly! Unwontedly!
It was that sort of day,
A perfect day for a perfect journey,
Back to the future,
Unwontedly.

The last time I missed a cup final was in 1973 when I was on a train when the signalman leaned out and cried “Right away, mate , and by the way Porterfield has just scored for Sunderland.”

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-trains-are-on-time-on-cup-final-day/