Thank You poem

Last week we posted a blog about the ‘thank you’ poem we were commissioned to write for transport workers. You can read that blog here. Transport Focus produced a video featuring Emma Purshouse reading part of the poem, and they’ve now given us permission to post the full poem on our website. You can read it below.

Thank You.

To the ordinary folk out there doing jobs
in uniform, hi-vis, and suit
in comfortable shoes or in trainers
or wearing a steel toe-capped boot
wielding a spade or a shovel
holding a clipboard or pen
bent over laptop or spreadsheet
here’s to you women and men
the crucial cogs in a network
getting people and goods to their goal
everyday heroes and heroines
with a vital and critical role
truckers delivering medicine and food
day after day after day
warehouse staff picking and packing all night
seeing everything’s sent on its way
workers on buses, on railways, on trams,
or down underground on the Tube
wherever you are within transport
this is a message to you.

Thank you.

To the mechanics and fitters
the guards and the drivers
the staff at our stations
the workers and strivers
who ensure the freight trains are running
the signals are green
who graft in the background
unknown and unseen
checking points, tamping ballast
repairing the track
so the train which takes folk off to work
brings them back
from their shift at the hospital
or their job stacking shelves
because none of us do what we do
by ourselves
we rely on each other
to help us get through
and now – more than ever –
we’re indebted to you
who get up early each morning
to drive the first tram
fuel up fleets of buses
plot routes for a thousand delivery vans
who get supplies where they’re needed
with minimum fuss
while we’re at home under lockdown
you’re out there, working, for all of us.

Thank you.

To the control staff who watch
where the traffic is going
warn of pinch points and hold ups
keep everything flowing
so the nurse on the bus
gets to work when she ought to
and the team that she’s part of
with cleaners and porters
reassures, offers comfort,
sees life end, and begin
holds our hands when we leave this world…
cradles us gently when we come in.
You’re our friends, and our neighbours
our dads and our sons
our mothers and daughters
and you are the ones
who graft in the background
unnoticed, unnamed
who deserve so much more than a poem…
Blue plaques. Headlines. Fame.
Rounds of drinks bought in pubs
when pubs open once more
applause from every last one of us
as you walk home past our doors

you’re critical workers, we know this is true.
and this is us saying thanks, as a nation, to you.