Skip to content

Poem: This morning’s surprise

‘This morning’s surprise’, a poem by Mike Marqusee, was a short-listed finalist for the 2011 Wells Literary Festival Poetry Prize.

This morning’s surprise

This morning’s surprise is how much I’ll miss rail travel.
The green fields looming up and falling behind,
the milky tea wobbling in a plastic cup,
the engine’s steady vibration.

This afternoon’s surprise is how many shades of red there are,
each one sitting in a room of its own, dense in meditation.
Each one a field of conflict, a medium of conciliation.

This evening’s surprise is not that the novel ends
in a desultory return to the working week –
loose ends trimmed and tucked out of sight –
but the ferocity of my recoil
at the author’s glib contrivance.

Midnight’s surprise is Lorca’s moon floating over Hackney
full-faced, round-eyed and speaking Spanish.