by Robert Nisbet

From West Wales, journeys up the line.
The bands of crew-cut college boys
horsed amiably in trains, as terms began.
(Little now heard of earlier troop trains.)

In years to come, a traffic in destinies,
more seekers after futures.

And Ginger. Studied modern languages
from nineteen-fifty-eight to sixty-two.
A flash of fortune’s light in sixty-three
brought him the French assistante, swift young love.
Ginger moved on to Brittany,
the lycée and the village life.
He loved the beaches, loved La France,
but never quite allayed a longing
for the diesels and the platforms of his youth,
the scrums of college boys,
the marvel of the setting-out.

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