Young Woman from Ponty
by Robert Nisbet

______________________The Treherbert line, 1965

The train rattling, meaning business,
the last stretch down to Cardiff.
Four working girls: a lecturer, stenographer,
the restaurant, the gallery.

They could lace the later half-hour home
with anecdote and atmosphere,
with saleroom, classroom, kitchen, typing pool.
They did, but she took centre stage,
the young woman from Ponty,
dark, pretty, affability gone bananas.
(Worked in a casino, somebody said,
but they heard mainly of her past.)

And nothing really un-respectable,
not lovers exactly, just men known.
At least two internationals, a medical student,
racehorse owner, steeplejack, shift workers,
an out-of-work actor and insurance men.
The girls heard of dances, pubs and evening light,
such innocence in afterthought.

She spun a spangled youth across their gaze,
won laughter and affection. Seemed re-paid.

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