Remain in Rainham


Coated in seasoned sawdust and reclaimed meat,
I tuck in, stood like a coat stand, into my lukewarm treat.
I wipe off stale crumbs off my creased navy skirt
As I stand in polished heels in the dust and the dirt.
I’m ferried on by the commuter cattle,
Who silently slope as engines rattle.
Off they go back to their suburban homes,
Noses peered over tiresome tomes.
They ignore the needy, the young and the sick,
As with a sodden index finger they make sure to lick
the corner of every tattered page
While incensed, I stare in rage.
With each stop, one of them perhaps maybe two
Disappear momentarily for a trip to the loo.
Like an athlete, my heel to the ground,
I stalk the narrow gangways, hunting like a hound.
But every seat is taken, every pole a hand held tight,
As I wobble in the aisle way begging them to take flight.
But they all live in Rainham, in that miserable place
Where all human lifeform disappears without a trace.
Freshly hatched, they all stand line in line,
With their matching briefcase and trademark whine.
Like a uniform, in identical formation and rows,
With the same old suit and polished black toes.
They flick through the morning paper at five pm at night,
With that ear-ringing rustle, with knotted shirts starched white.
Emotionless, motionless, they resemble the dead,
As they stare into the distance while their train speeds ahead.
Back to their Rainham home and Rainham life,
To their Rainham children and Rainham wife.
That boring little town that somehow ended on the track,
Where hoards of boring businessman clamber on in a pack.
Just beyond Gillingham, that boring town soon arrives,
As elated, I wait as the clogged up carriage splits off and divides.
Like noah’s ark they push off two by two,
As at last I spy a seat, only 50 minutes through.
But the next stop calls and I realise the pain
that in ten minutes more I have to get back up again.
Those Rainham rangers with their peery little eyes,
With their judgemental demeanour and boring printed ties,
I wish they’d work in Rainham and stop clogging up the line,
I wish those Kentish towny folk would swap the office for Chatham’s brine.
But for now they will continue to fill the carriage to the brim,
And make the heat soar in this roasting pile of tin.
Why can’t they be more like other crap little towns?
where the desolute grumble as they shop in night gowns?
In their grubby own town they vow to work,
Or in their grubby bedsits they choose to shirk.
They don’t pile on a train to bring the service on its knees,
On a street corner instead they’ll puff and they’ll wheeze.
They’ll claim on the dole for their really bad back,
And spend their benefits on fags and a six-pack.
But I’d rather the idle than these annoying worker bees,
Who make my journey hell as they swarm on me like fleas.
Have a day off, take a holiday or two.
You Rainham swarms who follow me through
This endless existence, this endless commute,
As off you all scurry back to count your day’s loot.
Get off my patch, get off my rail track,
Find a new territory for your relentless little pack.
Roll on to Rainham, let it be your last stop,
Or risk my wrath as I rage into a strop.
Remain in rainham, give me some peace,
Let some other rail track wilfully you all fleece.


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