Catherine Dickinson

Fixing the Tracks

It comes in the night time
Juts in to faint noise from silence
Creeps in to open metal jaws
Of what was before
Not there anymore.

It is not an instance of disrepair
Which causes the black machine to
Groan down, rung after rung
Fixing the thing.
It has been gradually worn.

It is the squeezed out shrieking
Once silhouetted against the groggy, half waking,
Sleeping world which tells me
I am normally asleep when this happens,
I was once at home for nightmares.

There is a schism in the sound.
The one where woken you would feel it is too loud,
And this is too much
But it is dark, and there are no others on the street
To rouse you from your bed,
Listening in and out.

I was not even under my covers.

So when the bass and tenor chink and
Chime in against the unbearably pure piercing thin
Beginning of that scream,
make it cover the depth of a chasm,
Things start to shake and grate

I realise the shrill is inevitable,
Metal v metal.  You have to make your love grow dim.



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