Causeway

Somewhere, just before Ardgay, we cross a causeway. Meadowsweet and willowherb ruffle up from the embankment.We are low down on a loch, the water both sides of the carriage banded in white light. I look across at my fellow traveller, who has taken the night train up from London and is tapping on her iPhone. I know that any second we will leave all this behind. Again I turn to the loch – soaking up the light, letting some of it back – and into view glides a solitary swan. It feels like we too are floating. Still the woman thumbs her phone and I want to tell her, ‘Look!’

But already we are crossed and I wonder now if journeying home she might be luckier, and have a more talkative companion, or an open carriage window where some thick waft of water might carry her eyes upward.