The Road Well Taken

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

Adlestrop.

 

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.

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