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This poem is taken from PN Review 108, Volume 22 Number 4, March - April 1996.

Four Poems Sophie Hannah

Ticket to Staines
I'd emerged from the second of two freezing trains
With a bag full of cheese salad sandwich remains
When I met a tree surgeon who said he was broke
And asked me to buy him a ticket to Staines.

He told me a jumbled, unfortunate tale
About how he had broken the terms of his bail
And he had to get back to his Mum's before ten
Or the cops would be taking him straight back to jail.

He told me his story outside Euston station
Describing his crime and its justification:
His tree surgeon's chainsaw had sliced through a train
In an effort to sabotage veal transportation.

His Mum had lumbago and no credit card
For a telephone booking. I thought long and hard

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