Winter at Swanwick Station
A January frost glistens under the station
lights as the early shift, shuffling their feet,
test for footholds, find the slipping points,
ponder whether to apply winter precautions.
The 5.32 rounds the down bend
splashing ice sparks. A thunder flash arcs
an electric glare that grazes retinas,
illuminates in blue the pre-dawn morning.
Ice is falling from the stars and the globular moon,
setting over the station, is a frost machine.
But now it is spreading time, casting salt
as a sower casts seeds, as if there were fields
to fertilise and not these dark stones
petrified by January frost.