Blunden on the Bus

fall in, ghosts

Wheezing, the 51
arrives to rescue us
from Swindonís bunkered storms.
Enthroned behind the mist
of its top deck, I find
this is a troubled bus.

It veers from fight to fight
with certain wind-bent trees,
chestnuts, at South Cerney,
stray cherries. Swept ash leaves
are ripped from its last target,
rowans, at Charlton Kings.

Ten miles. I cease to flinch,
while twigs lash my glass wall,
watch Cirencesterís sycamores
drum armed buds down our door.
Quickly I read how young men went
by horse, by train, to war.

Alison Brackenbury

(Edmund Blundenís Fall in, Ghosts: Selected War Prose is published by Carcanet Press.)

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Alison Brackenbury  would be pleased to hear them.