Thursday, August 9, 2012


Waiting on the platform for the 10:15
She touches a hand to her hair
And checks her lipstick twice
Winds her watch
And looks impatiently down the line.
She tries to read in vain, a novel somewhat comedic.
Words slip past sliding by eyes withdrawn and thoughtful.
So much can be hidden in the act of holding a book.
The pretence frees her mind and a smile plays across her mouth
Lifting the corners slightly.
She removes a compact from the depth of her bag
 and presses powder across her cheeks to dim the pink anticipation.
The time is 10:05.
10 minutes.
Emotions skitter across her frame, chasing each other like puppies.
She turns the page of the book she isn’t reading.
She can hear the rumble in the distance and as she stands she smoothes
the creases from her skirt.
Her shoes are new and she hopes he notices.
A young woman has come out onto the platform.
She is holding the hand of a child who is jumping in place.
“Hush,” the young woman says, “it’s coming.”
Nervous now, she straightens her coat and pats her hair once more. 
And as she does the young woman with the child looks over
and the two exchange a smile.
Others drift out onto the platform, bored or expectant. 
Watches are wound.  Books returned to bags.  Hands are held or let go of.
The train thunders into view, a relief and a disappointment.
Metallic sounds shriek and hiss then stop and huff as though exhausted.
Doors sigh and stairs are lowered.  Places are exchanged with those waiting.
She sees him amidst the clouds and her heart quickens.
He takes long strides down the platform toward her.
He smiles and she responds in spite of herself. 
And as he moves beyond her, pulls the young woman
and child into a firm embrace the smile falters
then withers, then dies.
She lowers her gaze and lifts a hand to her hair,
 looks down at her shoes and boards the train.

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