Last Train – by Eira Needham


The caravan was dusty and Mum
scoured all the plates before we ate.
I longed to sprawl in nearby dunes, sheltered
from the wind, then paddle in the surf.

Merging with drizzle we braved
the fairground, hunched in raincoats.
Our King Charlie dog kept dry, goggle eyes
peering out of Mum’s large shopping bag.

A treat was eating at the Lobster Pot Cafe,
with fishing net decor. Our window seats
overlooked boats undulating in the harbour;
plates piled with vinegar doused plaice and chips.

Slumped in lumpy beds, gas lights flickering
we listened to the hired radio, cheering
when Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group sang –
Last train to San Fernando, last train to San Fernando.

Clowning, Dad joined in with falsetto voice –
If you miss this one, you’ll never get another one
Bee-dee-bee-dee-boom-boom to San Fernando.
We laughed, gasping into our pillows.

Today those familiar strains blast out
from You-tube. Forty years later they divorced.
Now both have travelled on in separate seats,
aboard their last train.




Eira Needham is a retired teacher from Birmingham UK. Her poetry has been published in print and online. Some of her recent and forthcoming publications are in Black Poppy Review, Autumn Sky Poetry, Poetry Pacific and The Linnet’s Wings. She has also been Featured Writer in WestWard Quarterly.