With a four-sided aluminium key
and one hand clamped around the wheels
to hold them still, I hold my breath
and wind the engine of the small grey train.
I am five or six years old and I wind
for the soft creaking of the spring,
for the pull of these four small wheels
like the heart-throb of some living thing.
Later when I carve my name in wood
or later again stub out cigarettes
it will be with this same motion, but for now
I wind to be here, beside myself,
and with the last possible, last permissible turn
to release the perfect single ping
then watch as the engine heads out with the news,
a thing beyond me, a thing singing.