From Beckenham to Tsim Sha Tsui

By Jennifer Wong

The next train to Beckenham

departs from platform six.

 

We will be offering refreshment service –

tea coffee soft drinks gluten-free cakes

 

hot or cold sandwiches –

but we won’t be serving you

 

jasmine tea or red bean cakes

cup noodles nor hot wave crisps.

 

After eight years it’s

almost home. Now I go via

 

Brixton Herne Hill West Dulwich

except my train also calls at

 

Prince Edward, Mongkok, Yaumatei,

Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Admiralty,
 

the way it used to be, and my mind’s

a city of swordlike high-rises, flyovers,

 

buddhist temples and bauhinia trees

even if some places are gone by now,

 

and the ferry-dotted harbour

is smaller than it was. And the years

 

I have lived here, have cost me

all those places I once tried to

 

leave from, am leaving still,

places that are so real

 

even if they remain invisible

on the colourful map I’m holding.

© 2019 harana poetry

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