Middlebrook

Written by: Keith Bickerstaffe


One big boom reverberates,
we shelter 'neath the railway bridge,
the swirling wind ensures we get a soaking anyway.
The Croal is roaring well above the watermark,
the nature lover in me hopes the smaller fish 
will beat the flow and seek a sheltered cranny.  
Peewits squeal, and wheel through softened skies, 
as sunshine makes a welcome reappearance.
Drying out, we wait for trains,
our notebooks at the ready.
A record twenty-six come through,
some chug to local destinations, 
others muscle by, non-stop, 
to Carlisle and the Scottish Highlands.
We eat our sandwiches in silence,
underlining names and numbers.
Clambering up the embankment
and skittering down, as gravity 
grabs then releases we fall in a heap, 
and can't wait to do it again!
An impromptu game of catch,
throwing stones instead of tennis balls,
our laughter uncontrollable,
we trip and stagger home.
The warp and weft, the fabric of my youth
still reassures me with these moments of enduring truth.