Cliffe to Gravesend

Same train, same bus, same strange metal giraffes.
This, though, is different. The storm wind is armed:
tiny water dumdums, as hard as ice,
spear and splay, needling my defenceless face.

Plastic mud-larky litters the foreshore:
old rope, smashed flowerpots and bookies’ pens
blown out of the water by gale forces.

At Shornemead Fort we rest and eat our pies.
We pass short-shank horses and burnt out cars.
We walk the wet backs of Gravesend boatyards.
Shocked and silenced, we board the train back home.

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