Day tripper

Sea spray. Piss.  Warm coins and light.  Kids posting pennies.  Hot, sweet.  Gulls sweeping past with webbed feet dangling.  I made you a promise.  Horses turning in circles.  The helter-skelter that I rode in a pouch made of doormats – thirty five years ago.  I made you a promise.  Stray pebble into the muddy khaki of today’s sea.  The gust of a silent man’s cigarette smoke.  Hey Jude from crackling speakers.  I made you a promise.  Tea from an endless pot and chips soaked brown – crusted with salt.  A man with a shopping trolley and broad feet wrapped in layers of fabric, forced into trainers with tongues lolling.  I made you a promise.  Walking the thin strip of concrete between the prom and the pebbles.  I toss my last coin.  I wait in the secret passage for the rain to pass.  There used to be dolphins.  They stood on their tales and sang a happy birthday to you.  There used to be sea lions that clapped.  I made you a promise.  If I break into a run now – maybe?  Run fast enough to turn the world back.  If I walk under the pier will I come out into 1978?  Peach Melba running over my knuckles.  Can I have another go?  I made you a promise.   This ticket is a return.  If I wait under the arch of glass at this seaside station will it all become clear?  Kneel on the platform in text and prayer.  This is the end of the line.


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