On the slow train from Cambridge
To Ely, I am sitting behind two Russians.
A couple, they are locked in conversation,
Oblivious to the fenland steppe outside,
The rain-steeped, raven-black earth,
This England in its midwinter rain.
Two couples strolling in the Gardens
Buttoned-up in overcoats
Against a bright November sun.
Beyond where they walk on the stony path
There are the stains of footmarks across
The morning-wet grass: primary school
Children, freed for the day,
An April day, the light as sharp as paint,
Sea air, and yet no hint of on-shore chill.
It was the perfect day for lifetime vows.
Not a hint of the dark shadows to come.
The twenty-something groom, so like
His handsome father, same warm eyes
And easy smile, g...