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by fyn
Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Other · #1918582
August 8th, 1994 - Batavia, NY -Amtrak Train #49 derailed.
Prompt for: February 10, 2013
Subject or Theme: Mayhem and/or Havoc (Exploring the darker side of things)
Word(s) to Include: unsettled
Forbidden Word(s): die(s), kill(s/er/s), murder(s/er/s)
Additional Parameters: Minimum 80 words total (no line requirements) - please include word count at end.


Deep asleep in the Domed Coach
of the Lakeshore Limited when my world inverted.
Tumbled, thrown from seat to roof to floor to seats to side.
Looking at tree branches:
Why were leaves inside the train?
A lady, crimson blood dripping on
her pink jacket, mumbled about
clothes dryers as she stepped over me.
Nothing was, but I felt, broken.
Nightmare dream, I wanted to wake up.
Crying, a high wailed keen: just went on and on.
I wished they’d be quiet: my head hurt.
Someone shook me, said to shut up.

Crawled through a maze of upended seats,
luggage, shattered glass, twisted steel.
Out. I needed to get Out.
Door jammed shut. A press of bodies
as if we could will it open.
Fists banging on the door, screaming.
In a brief breath of silence, someone yelled:
Go the other way. Crawling on the shattered roof:
direction had no meaning. What was other?

Outside. Cold.
People milling aimlessly around: none of us knew
we were bleeding until someone said we were.
Everything was gray: hazy, foggy gray.
Black and white misty photo moments:
the mangled train, a child’s toy tossed down a hill,
spaghetti rails twisted, curled leftovers on a bloody plate.

Noise. Choppers with blinding lights spiraled,
sirens screaming, blue and red lights strobing.
No rhyme, no reason, we wandered disjointedly.
Too many chiefs but they didn’t know the woods.

Need to call mom—my train’s going to be late.
I don’t know where we are. Someone says Batavia.
I don’t know where that is.
TV news cameras arrive – CNN, ABC and other letters.
Ask a reporter to use his phone: I know mom will be watching.
She tells me she sees me on TV talking to her.
I look up into cameras:
‘Poignant moment as survivor
talks to her mother on the phone.’
I turn away.

The tally announced: All alive and accounted for.
I know some emotion should register.
It doesn’t: too numb, too unsettled to care.
Most stare blankly at each other.
Circle back to the train, some cars, belly up,
wheels hanging loose, another curled
on its side in a fetal position. Crying again.
I find my backpack, curl up on the ground hugging it
and wait for the world
to right itself.

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