A poem about a lady on a train offering to return a forgotten umbrella to a commuter
|It was the 7:26, not my normal train,
You all crammed on at Watford / Bushey / Harrow
And more with each stop; I didn't look up
Let alone get up, in case my seating loss
Became another banker's arse's gain.
You were pregnant. I know that now
But honestly I wasn't sure at first.
And though unmoving rudeness is poor form
Accusations false have proven to be worse.
A few stops further on of sweating human crush
We stopped (at Shepherd's Bush?), and somewhere far away
A flicker registered on seismic charts:
Tectonic plates of people strained for their depart.
"Wait!" you called as punters grinded past;
They slowed just for a second, didn't dare engage
With you, a crazy yeller
Waving an umbrella.
I saw its owner.
He looked at you a little longer than the rest,
But off the train already there's no way
For him to fight back on, and anyway
The queues behind the ticket gates were growing
He glanced at the umbrella knowing
Price of everything, value of nothing:
He could get another from his company
So barely broke his stride.
And then I looked and saw your eyes
Pleading with a base intensity
As if the umbrella's the way
Of saving its now former owner from his destiny.
I won't forget those livid green and shining eyes.
Umbrella Prophet waving your stone tablet
But finding no belief with London Midland's heathens.
When you sat down something within those eyes
Had not quite died, but had been put away.
You had joined us.
You sat in silence all the rest of the way.
I turned back to my kindle
And glowered at the liquid crystal.