The life now leaving platform four

This poem relates both to the event of a chance meeting, and the loss of emotions in a marriage. In an icy railway carriage a woman rehearses with a stranger how she will tell her husband she is leaving him, when he collects her from the train.

The steel confessional

From the cathedral of St Pancras
steel processions leave on time
each departure etches the proximity of strangers
cloistered in their loneliness on the Midland Line.
Seated close in second class
to make the service pay,
two hours to Derby, another life away.
“Do you teach or read for pleasure?”
her measured voice enquired
intelligence and flattery artfully applied.
The catalyst, a set book, lay tabled in between
an explanatory guide to the modern art creed.
The coldness in the carriage released its steady squeeze
abstract debate evolved, became personified with ease.

Truth is easy with a stranger who cannot balance blame.
Absolution freely given for any hope that’s named.
Yet wishes, once released, can never be reclaimed
and the search for satisfaction must be put in train.

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