Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 373

Anarchy in Arbroath

A commuter train pulls into Arbroath.
Doors open. Hordes spill onto the platform.
School uniforms are burnt or slit with Stanley
knives. Wallets, purses and laptops are fought
over. Hostages are strapped to refreshment
trolleys and raced around the waiting room.

Whoops and yelps echo through the concourse.
An acrid smell of Mace pervades the air.
Cells phone each other for status updates.

The Guard has been taken out and shot
with an Android for uploading to Facebook later.
The Ticket Inspector is chained to a toilet seat
and is refused a First Class upgrade.
Passengers in Coach C, the quiet carriage,
mime their distress at being robbed again.
The Buffet Car has been booby-trapped.
Small fires burn along the tracks. 

Train wheels turn one single revolution:
a straggler trundles slipshod through the station
and hoists his blood-red satchel like a flag.

A tannoy declares: The train now standing
at platform three is the 15.55 from Haymarket
Academy of Anarchy. Scotrail apologises for the lack
of Molotov Cocktails between Kirkaldy and Leuchars.
This was due to staff abductions. Before leaving
the train please make sure you have all your hand
grenades with you. Thank you.

Eddie Gibbons

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