Waiting

A build-up of tension along with the train
curls around the track
and slowly ambles towards
the grim-faced businessmen
and exuberant children.

A balding man steps forward
suitcase handle gripped in hand
one step starts a calamity.

A man, thin hair, thin face
steps towards the fray
his hand rests on his wife’s back
and growls to the crowd:
I was here first.

nobody listens
the train grabs their attention
and the crowd surges forward
clasping their reserved seat tickets.

a child cries

a whistle blows

doors open

suitcases are thrown

out into the crowd
who tap their feet
and check their watch
and glare at the departing crowd.

then onwards and inwards
the crowd goes
further in, further on.

A fight breaks out
in the luggage rack
between short and bald
and short and fat.

Two women glare at a third
who dares to wear
last year’s coat.

and then
silence.

after the seats have been fought over
and battles have been won – or lost.

a triumphant eyebrow is raised
a coffee is ordered from first class
complete with plum in mouth.

and throughout it all, an old woman,
sits knitting a jersey
for her cat.

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