The Upminster Train

We met on the District Line
from Wimbledon to Upminster.
Chatted all through Southfields.
Hands held by Putney Bridge.
Our first kiss at a sudden lurch
near Parson’s Green. In love
as we pulled in at Fulham Broadway.

It was all change at Earl’s Court
– A chance to holiday on the platform –
Our first row at South Kensington,
because I didn’t ‘Mind the Gap’.
I saw your reflection like a ghost
in the dark mirrored windows,
as sparks ran along the tunnel
by Sloane Square – The first time
I thought I could one day lose you –

I gave up my seat at Victoria;
promised never to leave you again
when I got it back at Westminster.
We lapsed into the silence of old friends
by Tower Hill, the sighing wheels
and banshee brakes tuned out,
busy with our mobile phones.

You’d dozed off at Whitechapel.
I nudged you awake, but you said
the journey was tiring, and you may
have to leave early. ‘We have travelled
so far’, I whispered: ‘I’ve never been
to Upminster, and don’t want to go alone’.
I looked away as we passed
Stepney Green. When I turned back,
your Oyster card on an empty seat.



John Bowen is a widower in his early 70’s, living in South London. He has been writing poetry for well over 40 years on and off, but only recently thought to send his work out for publication. Since then, he has have managed to get several published in various journals and magazines.