The Last Edition

The Echo seller,
no longer shouting just crouching,
counting his moments to closure
watches the last fumes of his evening tea
start hopefully,
but fade in the starting.

In the dim light of the kiosk,
just small change
lying at random,
beside the old sandwiches,
kit-kats and cans.
The price you pay for
shipping forecasts,
Red and Blue calamities
production lines and business risk.

Two figures part on the pavement
eyes meeting in a short farewell,
the one springs up
boarding a bus for West Derby
full of light and promise;
the other,
stumbles on the curb
and descends
into the underworld of empty trains.

The sharp stars fix their diamonds on the tarmac.
Frost on the ground,
glitter from the halogens above
and minus three below.
Kelly shivers,
Dressed to club in metallic crimson,
just tight enough to breathe.
Cut low, no straps
and nearer waist than foot.
She screams at the taxis,
Swaying on heels,
Falling to the ground,
but arm in arm with friends
they go down laughing together.

He doesn’t hear the commotion
Sitting on the platform
In his cavern of white ceramic tiles, stale air
and the distant rumble of movement
somewhere in dark tunnels.
Twenty minutes to fill
With only a few hunched figures minding themselves.

By Dick Hayes