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All the tiny abandoned halts along the Irwell
have been re-opened, their clocks
set ticking. And everyone
is hereó
              but not yet everyone:
across the bridge, past the terraced cottages

a last couple appear, he in khaki,
she in a red print dress, her blond hair
rolled immaculately.

There is a whistle in the valley.
Huffs of smoke move this way across the fields
like dropped clouds
                             and they start to run, holding hands
or try to run in her impossible heels
down the steep street, back

to where the others are already waiting
on the platform.
It happens so quickly

that the parting is over
before they know it is a parting.

The whistle comes again
and a shiver,
the ground trembling in anticipation.

Caroline Price

Poetry Wales

Spring 2012

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