Whether striped, checked, polka dotted or plain, it protects us from the rain.

It’ll shields us from the sun and stops us from being hit by bullets of hail.

If you care about your hair and the clothes on your frame, with ease it prevents leaves and blossoms falling on us from trees, but it’s main job is to protect us from the rain and sun.

And it’s a job it does well, it’s a job well done.

Leaving it on trains is a pastime of mine, especially when the time spent travelling sets the rainy day to fine.

Making sure it goes back home with me is easier said than done.

Let me explain, the rain has stopped, the sun is out, I drop into a shop and pop it into a stand, I look around, maybe buy something or not and then leave the shop not thinking about what I’ve left behind.

It’s easy to forget it when you’re not stepping out into rain with any thought of getting wet.

We may leave it on a bus, but most of us tend to leave it on a train either hanging on the edge of the seat, on the floor near our feet or propped up at the side of the door.

Waking up just as we arrive at our stop, the only thing on most of our minds is getting off the train and then we realise as the doors start to close that we’ve left something behind.

And then we find upon leaving the station that the skies have opened up once again and as we no longer have what kept us dry at the beginning of the day we have to walk home in the rain.

As we head back homewards getting wetter and wetter we vow never to let our absent mind get the better of us ever again.

We may have this little one-on one with ourselves with one side blaming the other for leaving behind the reason we are soaked to the skin.

One side tells the other that it’s the last time it’ll happen with the other side listening but not replying.

And then the inevitable happens again and attempting to have the same inner self type conversion has long since worn thin.

I wonder if it is forgetfulness or if it is simply that some of us are as happy being dry as we are being wet.

A poem by Stephen Austwick.