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THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO (from The Talking Horse And The Sad Girl And The Village Under The Sea)

By Mark Haddon

The island of the billionaire philanthropist
Was made of plastic and his wonderful machines
were only toys. True, there were moments

when the colours brightened as we cut away
to focus on a tea cup or a herd of antelope
in flight, and everything seemed real.

But they were shots from other films,
rapidly replaced by trees and skies
which looked like trees and skies but never rang quite true.

We had our brief adventures then relaxed
beside the pool, while in his mountain lair
our nemesis the foreign villain licked his wounds.

We filled the sky with vapour trails.
We braved the flaming rig and nursed the stricken jet
back home. We held our nerve and everyone was saved.

Now everything is real. This bungalow. The early train.
We mow the lawn and smoke a cigarette
and sit here waiting for the call that never comes.

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