Dickensian Poetry: The Signalman by David Keyworth

After the story by CD

Halloa! Halloa!

The howl in the tunnel is a trick –
winter wind or a stray dog’s whine?

Why does he still hear it?
Who wants to derail his sanity?

Halloa! Halloa!

Two nights ago, he pushed through sleet
to shine a torch into the tunnel’s depths.

He saw nothing but the drip drip of ice,
nothing but rats chewing wires.

Halloa! Halloa!

The clock strikes three. He wakes.
Tunnel’s mouth is a frozen scream.

He missed a call from his Controller.
His concentration switches from on to

off to on, on to off . . .
The signal is stuck on red.

Halloa! Halloa!

Why does he hear the screech
of wheels? He steps into darkness again.

The tunnel’s mouth is a frozen scream.

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