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Lay for the Day
2nd August

1870: the opening of the Tower Subway, the world’s first underground passenger railway. It carried 12 people at a time in a single car, hauled by a cable through a tunnel under the Thames, close to where Tower Bridge now stands. It was not a great success and closed in November of the same year.

The Gap

Proceed with caution. Discreetly eye those
who are passing or precede you.
Let no lurching virus
keep you from observing silence,
let no contact impede you.

To keep moving, to know where you’re going
are virtues of a corpuscle.
No backing nor slowing
at a branch or narrowing
to clog this vein’s dim bustle.

Occupy your thoughts to seem impassive
and brace your foot to be wheel-hurled.
Noughted by every message,
undergoing wrongs of passage,
we’ll pretend it’s the real world.

John Gibbens
from Falling Down

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar