A child with a fist plunged in his mouth,
a bundle of clothed rivulets nestled in his mother’s lap.
Beside them, an elderly man taps an umbrella
on the floor; it’s been spitting all day – the gathering gnashing
azure threatens a downpour later…
‘This is the Eccles service. The next stop is Ladywell.’
Ahead, a girl preens in front of a mirror, retrieved
from her stained clutch-bag, getting ready for her weekend.
To her right, a middle-aged man avoids the bulge of her breasts,
averts his eyes behind the spread of the Evening News. He sports
a broad wedding band and I imagine him
to be married to a Joanna or Julie,
living in a semi-detached house at the end
of a non-descript cul-de-sac.
As the tram jaunts onward, my mind veers to a time
when my life’s sextant calculated more than
the narratives of strangers –
a time when my life had character and plot.