[Vwoolf] My nearest mainline station happens to be Preston!

Stuart N. Clarke stuart.n.clarke at btinternet.com
Mon Jul 10 15:58:49 EDT 2017

Returning Home

I saw Virginia Woolf at Preston Station. 
A woman with two hats on, 
One a white sun hat, and above that
A wide-brimmed straw with a black band. 
(Whom was she mourning?) 
She'd lost a plastic bag 
And flapped along the platform 
Like a gull along the tide line, 
Searching about the rows of metal seats, 
She was tall and wore large shoes. 
Her flowered skirt showed briefly 
Below a belted summer mac.

Did she, I wondered, dream of waves
And a distant lighthouse, 
Sun on a blind,
And the acorn blind-pull moving tentatively across the floor?

No one jeered at her.
One or two smiled wanly to themselves. 
A well-fed station official,
Running down the platform with her bag, 
Pursued her between concrete pillars. 
Indifferent observers, waiting for other trains,
Were we the river stones in her pockets dragging her below the

But then, I think she rose with slow wing-beats and moved away 
Over the swelling crests,
Into the spaces of her own mind.

JUDITH YOUNG (b. 1928)

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