From Broadwell Green
Running uncluttered between
Unremarkable hedges and fields the road
Leads to sleeping Evenlode.
We never make it there.
We turn at a junction where
Gloucestershire fields meet Oxfordshire skies
And after a green mile lies
We take time to stop
And contemplate the rural calm
And know again that strange charm
Of cottages of Cotswold stone.
But for all those silent histories they have known
No ghost now remains
Of platforms where once stopping trains
Disturbed the calm of a summer afternoon.
A lifetime later in a different June
Moment, an ancient oak overshadows
A plain wooden shelter where those
Drawn here by a name find
It on the antique sign enshrined
In GWR chocolate and cream.
These days no sudden hiss of steam
Breaks the silence as we sit alone
On the platform bench grown
As old as the poet’s words.
The sky is clear, the birds
Sing still in the fragile air
And on a modest plaque there
The verse displayed; an eloquent
Epitaph for lives and lines unspent.