Frederick Williams

The Old Railway Station (Hackney)

Old mother aging
They repeatedly try to dress
You up to make you look strong,

But your age still shows,
Quite regularly you are deserted
Although passerby,
Mainly juveniles ask you to
Convey messages
Like vote National Front,
Who needs Niggers, Jews out, Wogs out,
John woz here,
Bob loves Claire,
And when the rain came
It seeped through your roof
Old mother, I imagined you
In your Prime.

Then they march on you in the morning,
They march on you at night,
All day long, one two, one two
And by midnight you are all alone,

And as the weather changes
Th winds came it rattles you,
Cold, cold water seeping down your posts
You seemed as if you’d given up the Ghost.

Old mother, wood, iron, stone
I watch you suffer
But I’ve heard no groans.

So when you’ve finally come down
Whether by hand or raging storm
I’ll remember you not as dead,
But that you’ve changed your form.

Frederick Williams

Frederick Williams is a Jamaican poet who came to England when he was 17. He gigged a lot with his poetry and this poem is from his 1981 collection Me Memba Wen.

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