August 11th 1980  Thomas Probyn

August 11th 1980

Thomas Probyn

August 11th 1980

August 11th 1980.
The blue, the black, the cadmium yellow,
They’d said the crossing was fine; no one really knew.
All apart from a 40 tonne loco, rumbling towards it at unstoppable speed.
The smell of fresh fish in the market, a duck crossing, as if to test the water.

A quiet screaming started up, the screaming of a scared new train.
In a flash of cadmium yellow, it rolled from the safety of its hillside cave, one pantographic
Arm straggling to be free.
It took its aspect and began the journey, slowly edging across the bridge.

Before we knew it, it was over, no more black and yellow.
Just the sweet ringing of success.


‘August 11th 1980′ was a winning poem in the 2019 Newcastle Young People’s Poetry Competition.