A Token for the Train
I love writing in rhyme, and I have a large number of poems lying around that rhyme. I’m especially fond of this one, which I’ve worked over a number of times.
I clatter down dim staircase
to seek shelter from the rain,
duck beneath a turnstile
as I’m kind of short of change.
Platform’s crowded with commuters
who all mutter and complain.
Lights first dim and flicker,
fade to black as rumbles sound,
faint at first, volume increasing.
Bodies crowded all around
push me one way, then another.
Cries and caterwauls abound.
Folks scurry for an exit.
but I forget which way is out.
I bumble, blind, in darkness
while folks wander round about.
There’s a thunk from on the train track.
Guys beside me scream and shout.
I hear a high-pitched whistle
then the echoing refrain
from the screech and scream of metal
as it protests from its pain,
squeals and squeaks of brakes engaging
while they work to stop the train.
The slap of footsteps echo.
A man’s jumped down to the track.
Listen to his grunts and groaning
as he pulls the jumper back,
heaves him on the platform.
My head’s spinning; things go black.
Someone hauls me upright,
electricity flicks on,
train doors close; it leaves the station.
Now the crowds of folks are gone.
I scamper up the stairway
to the street where I belong.