Hearing the cautious silence broken
By the street life’s first words spoken,
She steps out into evening falling,
“Big Issue!” and “Late Copy!” calling.
Shrieking tomcats startled, scattering,
Send the empty trashcans clattering.
She’s looking for the next cab crawling,
And bright-eyed schoolboys bounce by brawling.
As heaving traffic trudges by her,
She dreams of limo comfort grandeur,
But battling through the bothersome crowd,
She nears the mouth of the underground.
Loudmouth hooligans lawless, loutish,
Push past passengers to the surface.
Thunder of boots, ripping ticket stubs,
Backslaps, laughter, off to the corner pub.
Descending with the hoards now gathering,
In the station turnstile rattling,
Gossip from the ladies prattling.
Tunes from some old West End show
Are bubbling up from down below
The street musicians earning sparely
Singing strains of phantom fairly
She rides the churning escalator
Impatient heels in alligator
Slap the stairs in swift staccato
Interrupt the sweet legato
Through rubbished wrappers from golden arches
The herd along the hallway marches.
But lured by drifting dancing notes
Towards her track she calmly floats.
Busker’s strings and soft foot tapping,
Captive crowds of patrons clapping,
Turning north beyond the stair
She finds the silent platform bare.
Echoed bump of train departed
Ratty steps that by her darted
And as more rodents scamper by
She hears the teenage lovers sigh
Now the legion swells, encroaches
As the next train soon approaches
Giggling girls and babbling babies,
Business men, and lunching ladies.
“Mind the gap!” “Clear the doors now!”
Coughs from suits with knitted brow,
Scratchy whispers from the headphones
Nodding sleepers as the rails drone.
Then sitting peacefully encumbered
As her neighbours gently slumber
She listens to the lamplight hum
And thinks of pleasures still to come