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Train From Shoreditch

Rum and coke, weird bloke.
Eats satsumas left at breakfast.
A child collects the remnants.
Rubies and emeralds glitter from a girl’s taut skin.
Thin, like a mannequin, dressed up to the nines,
while the man drinks rum and coke.
He is a begging bloke.
Magazine in hand, he eats satsumas the child offers
as the glittering girl disappears into a bin liner
filled with clothes,
like a scarecrow’s wardrobe.
To the man she proffers
as he softly stutters.
The woman slips on the satsuma skin,
then drinking a liquor potion
like a witch’s brew,
a blackbird flew
and pecked her nose,
emptying the clothes bag while the man played guitar.
The girl grins, sings “tra-la-la”.
Then the child comes in,
peeling the last of the satsuma skin.
“He’s my son,” she says.
The tension evaporates,
a black cat rushes by a back door,
drinks milk put out by the beggar.
The woman knows she is no witch,
simply stuck on the underground at Shoreditch
with a guy unable to afford the fayre.
She gives him her ticket, walks over where her son swiftly stops.
“That’s your dad,” she says.
Then a heartfelt plea of submission from the periphery.
“Madeline!” he cries.
Finally they all realise as the train from Shoreditch shoots away.

About Geraldine Ward

Geraldine Ward has been writing and performing various forms of poetry and prose from an early age, and is a regular contributor at the London Farrago Poetry Slam nights. She has published a number of books including the "Now" collection, and has featured in other publications including Katie Metcalfe's "Beautiful Scruffiness" series of magazines.


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