Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Night Train

by HV

Sunglasses cover wild tired eyes of strangers' faces on the Ashmont line,
Heads turn each time the train makes a stop,
After the automated destination announcement is made
Curiosity points their eyes toward the doors
Who's coming on?
Where are the going to sit?
They spread themselves more to make less room

New faces of people returning home from work or heading some place new enter the train
The unsure ones will stand in anxiety and examine the transit map before they take a seat
Some have headphones blasting music or narrating e-books in their ears,
They bop their heads or stare into the abyss
Others have their heads bowed low in a book inches thick with fine prints, and book markers hanging, it takes them a little while to turn the page

An old white lady in a faded purple jacket and
Pink sweat pants a seat away reads the New Yorker
With caricatures jumping off the opposite page,
Engrossed in her pleasure reading, she almost missed her stop

Night train keeps you waiting,
You leave one world for another until you reach your stop,
No more magazine pages flipping, silent riders reading and
Students' cue cards get placed in memory for that mid-term quiz tomorrow

"Next stop, JFK/UMass, change here for the Braintree train"
The train slowly halts and half the train exits, eyes glance and heads turn back to check for belongings
Expressions breathe a sigh of relief as they reach their destination
Mouths release weary yawns as sleep set in, they check their watches,
And their phone messages

"Hello, I'm almost at Ashmont, can you come get me?"
Calls placed to that friendly voice, waiting to see your companion after a long day
Smiles return as they exit at the sound, "Last stop, Ashmont Station"
Sluggishly some make their way and disappear in the waiting vehicles
While others on foot vanish in the night.

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