As the train enters the birth canal,
chocolate-box landscapes dissolve
and are remembered, if at all,
as the pictures of a child,
garish in Crayola crayon.
We speed through darkness, away from light,
until the train emerges, reborn
and already tired.
We have passed the pastoral now
to penetrate a fortress grey
with age and industry,
its vegetation minimal, its trees stunted,
its inhabitants wearied, worn down, yet still
as hard as slate.
Even the rain here is ill. It falls
as frequently as the drunks
and the house prices.
It gushes incontinent from damaged guttering.
It beats up the pavements in
Wildly, urgently, it batters
upon buildings, as though desperate
to summon help.
Mountains, imperious, throw shadows
like accusations. Slate, impervious,
won’t hold water.
Wounds have been inflicted here.
They will not
Adele Fraser has been writing for many years, but only recently began sending her work out for publication. Her poems have been published by The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets and Vada Magazine.