Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 88: Auchencastle

13 miles to catch a train

Yes, I know Auchencastle
with its valley streaked with metal.

Summer freight rattles dusty heat,
winter Virgins run in snow

yards from my front door.
Cats mouse and stroll parallel

like platelayers on inspection,
Keepers of the West Coast line.

Moffat’s ghost train of the 50’s
fades to scissored timetables

and Beattock stations phantoms
so I cannot catch a train.

So, yes I know Auchencastle, but
(for now) I drive to Lockerbie.

Gillian Mellor

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