Heading south

The 4 am train

Yellow lights, the strangeness, the hum.

I pick the wrong carriage, take the wrong seat, but they let me stay.

I sit behind an old woman who stops the conductor each time he passes

Once she tells him; “this seat is not as comfortable as the one I had to Sydney.”

He smiles,

“I think it would be the same,” he says, quietly.

“It is not,” she yells.

He asks her if she would like some raisin toast. She quietens.

The train rocks on, the carriage moves gently, like a ship falling across waves.

I drift into sleep. Some yelling wakes me.

The woman in front needs to use the bathroom.

She is screaming, “I will have an accident.”

The conductor rushes by, nods at me.

“All whom I love,” I say in a half dream, “will one day die.”

I had not meant to speak but awoken from my dream and confused; it came out.

He steps back, shocked, his eyes searching my face, seeing me for the first time.

I am sorry I spoke, but I say nothing more and look out the window.

Soon the city and I will be among strangers.

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