The Last Train Pulls Away

That day, my mother wore her rose-print
and wandered from room to room
in acres of blossom.

She heard a thin, far loophole in the wind
sweeter than new-mown hay.

Her face was lit.

Out of nowhere
my father come back from the dead,
a shifting form,
glimmer of random light,
as if to speak,
to kiss her, the skin of her face.

I know, the way a blind man knows the house
and sees it clear: the weather of a heart,
a hope pursued through years.

Imagine them surrendering to white
like a form of song –
they walk into an air
where navigation fails,
that pales to nothing

till nothing is left but
the quiet, when a last train pulls away.



Sam Garvan has work published in anthologies and journals including, most recently, The French Literary Review, Acumen, Impossible Archetype and Scintilla. He works for a London beekeeper.

Note:This cento is based on lines from John Burnside’s poems.