Its track was imagined from household things;
I didn’t need the Hornby with real steam
or a tabletop countryside of plastic trees
and lifelike tunnels.
Excess carriages were not needed, detail
did not stoke my mind
like the cheap red plastic.
I used hands to journey wherever, behind sofas,
up curtains, down banisters. I sped to countries
with burning pistons, realised how far I could get
without the whistle of a moulded route.
And freedom chugged over me, around head,
down arms and legs
until different became an accolade
spat by passengers who never mattered.
I left them standing at platforms.
Poet: Barry Woods
Illustrated by Lana Frye
This poem was Commended in The Poems Please Me Prize 2015
Barry Woods studied creative writing with the Writers’ Bureau, Manchester, and has since had work published in the small press. He moved on to explore performance with the Dead Good Poets Society, Liverpool. He lives and works in Birkenhead.
See other illustrations of this and all winning and commended poems in our eBook Red on Bone