Delay. For how long? No one seems to know.
With all the luggage weighed, the tickets checked,
It can't be long... We amble too and fro,
Sit in steel chairs, buy cigarettes and sweets
And tea, unfold the papers. Ought we to smile,
Perhaps make friends? No: in the race for seats
You're best alone. Friendship is not worth while.
Six hours pass: if I'd gone by boat last night
I'd be there now. Well, it's too late for that.
The kiosk girl is yawning. I fell stale,
Stupified, by inaction - and, as light
Begins to ebb outside, by fear, I set
So much on this Assumption. Now it's failed."
Philip Larkin, 1953.