Echoes by Chris Perry

An April Saturday morning, I arrived a good hour before my train was due

The No 8 brushed its doors shut

Growled up the hill and under the railway arch towards town

Its reverberations condensed and multiplied by the blackened steelwork

I crossed the road easily, traffic sparse

And found my way to the canal past rain-wept municipal daffodils

To the crunch of gravelled towpath by the Old Main Line

And the ruffled riffles of the canal-green water

Topped to just the better side of stagnant, by fresh spring showers

Strong sunlight fattened the air, softened the shift of traffic

The elegant broad tunnel beneath Cornhill dropped a cloth over the Saturday sounds

Even dulled wailing sirens of ambulances jumping the junction lights above

In this cavernous, arched construction that holds the weight of Wolverhampton aloft

I heard my steps and stalactite drips, nothing of the streets atop this bricked in sky

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