THE FOOT TUNNEL
The dream always dreamt just before dawn:
walking the cool white tunnel to its end,
pace echoing pace,
the chill white tiles streaming with breath,
with rumours of the Thames
(its brown tons of water and cargoes,
its river creatures, silt) dragging above us,
pointing the walls with a century of damp.
We pass through a ghost-mist, drawn on
by a row of dim lamps pinned to the ceiling
pulling us downwards through walled-up clay
deep underneath the cold throat of the river.
Spilt out of the wood-panelled, rickety lift
we are shocked by air, by seagulls soaring and diving,
by the world swivelled round, clouds, the sudden
smell of the sea. We have walked under
water, to be drenched to the bone
by a joyful June downpour, punched from the skies.
Sarah Maguire, The Pomegranates of Kandahar (London: Random House, 2007), p. 24.