The slow traffic takes a good long look.
Jilted bride of public transport,
alone in the shelter,
the fireproof bin and shatter-proof glass
scrawled with the cave-art of cocks and hearts.
It’s late, Friday, the graveyard shift, you’re ready
to dab blood from a split lip,
to hold the hand of cancer till the line goes flat.
Cardigan, sensible shoes, the kids
with a neighbour, fobwatch pinned
like a medal to your breast.
Winter sharpens the day.
The centuries crawl past,
none of them going your way.
Simon Armitage has published ten collections of poetry and is the current Oxford Professor of Poetry. A new collection, The Unaccompanied, will be published by Faber&Faber in April, 2017.