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Midnight Rain, Midnight Train

by Richard Vince

The rain streaks across the double glazed windows,
Giving strange shapes to the orange lights
Dancing in perfect time with one another
Over invisible towns.

Just another ten minutes or so before I escape
The pulsating whine of air conditioning
And step onto a dull, uneven platform,
Made to shine by the harsh station lights
Attacking the shallow puddles.

Then a swift walk past
The shuttered newsagentÂ’s and darkened travel centre,
Then the lonely taxi rank and nearly vacant multi-storey
And into the silent, brooding mass of
The slumbering town I have been coming back to
For most of my life.

Just hours before, we could have been
In some distant, half mythical and ill recalled town
Like Lowestoft, or Ramsgate, or Weymouth,
But such places fade into the background
As I dig my hands deep into my pockets
And try to keep pace with my guide
To all the exotic and faraway places
We visit, as he, like me, looks forward to
Homely lights and a nice warm bed.

Together we have travelled
The length and breadth of the country,
Sometimes in sunshine, sometimes in snow,
But it is always the rain after midnight
That takes me back to all those
Late night returns through
The dormant Black Country, hidden under
Countless orange fairy lights,
To the town where I was born.

08/12/2004

Posted on 08/16/2004
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

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