Under the red beams of the bridge,
lie a smattering of boats,
their rounded sails filled with wind,
and their decks filled with little people.
Closer to shore, a couple of mother ducks keep a watchful eye on the sky,
as their children try out their new waterproof feathers,
bobbing like corks on the ripples.
You wake up to cold air on your face,
but that’s ok. You’re wrapped up warm.
You look out the window and see sheets of rain falling,
but that’s ok. There’s plenty of fun things to do inside.
You scramble in your cupboard for the chunky jumper you put away in March,
but that’s ok. It reminds you of Christmas.
It’s raining today. But that’s ok.
Green fields and dirt tracks
give way to thatched roofs and steep roads.
Halfway up the hill,
there is a little church,
filled with old slabs of stone,
whose inscriptions have been worn away by time,
and replaced with flowers of lichen.
On the moon the days are long,
and the nights are cold.
Whales swim through thin air,
and Martians throw rocks as they drive by.
The craters are littered with junk,
which the old man rakes through,
looking for reminders of home.
The water is sterile, I can’t smell anything,
and the ocean floor is too close to me.
I can’t dive, I can’t find my pod,
I can’t find any other creatures,
besides the ones with fake skins.
They feed me dead fish and make cooing noises at me,
I don’t think they understand.
I look up at the clear blue sky of a summer afternoon,
and think “I belong up there.”
I belong with the birds and the clouds,
in a place where the only goal is to survive.
Sometimes, when I look at the sky,
I imagine the dull, throbbing pain of want,
giving way to glossy black wings erupting from my back,
then I could fly away, beyond the stars.
The sea is a churning mass of slate,
with white wave tips smashing into each other,
under a dull, colourless sky.
The wind rolling off the water is cold,
with specks of saltwater corroding iron railings and car bonnets.
But in a far flung corner of the sky, sunbeams struggle through the clouds,
because grey skies always give way to blue ones.
Puffs of smoke try to escape the wide brim of his Stetson,
curling in the still heavy air.
They form spirals and coils,
writing messages in a strange alphabet.
I try to form pictures from the tendrils,
desperate for any glimpse of a future I seem to have no control over,
but all I see are white horses galloping across an endless blue expanse.
A tinny voice over the speakers,
“Just to confirm, this is NOT the Dundee train.
The Dundee train is the one in front.”
An older man in a high-vis jacket,
“Excuse me, miss, but the Dundee train is the one in front.”
Me, a surly girl with a Pikachu t-shirt, and a 50 tonne laptop,
“I’m not going to Dundee.”
A middle-aged WASP. I imagine she’s from Pennsylvania. I know she’s on the wrong train before she opens her mouth. There are no tourist destinations where this train is going.
“Excuse me, does this train go to Leuchars?”
I see her eying my red hair and try not to sigh,
“No, that’s the Dundee train. The one in front.”
“There is no train in front of this one.”
“Well then, I guess you missed it.”
The round table is adorned with jewels of red and green,
peppers and olives and pastries and meats.
Don McLean croons softly in the background,
as he talks about guacamole and she talks about her weekend off.
The rabbit stares longingly at the table,
stuck behind thin metal bars,
as the summer breeze rustles the leaves of the dead plant on the windowsill.