A poem by Andrew Picknell

Leonard can’t read their faces.
Downturned expressions, faces clamped shut,
like a succession of frozen millponds.
Youngsters cradled by a cold white glare,
drip feeding them stories,
Of people beyond the bus stop.

‘You can’t read lips that don’t move’,
said the deaf nurse who had raised this soldier boy,
to land on Europe’s beaches,
and press a continent’s frowns into liberated smiles,
But Leonard struggles to locate such expressions now,
So much harder for him to read the faces,
down here at the bus stop.

Leonard tilts his gaze towards an auburn sky,
then closes his eyes to embrace comrades past.
They could read each other’s faces back then,
But there is little to read here now,
So little to read,
among the people at the bus stop.