When I missed the 09:55

there were furrows
on her forehead,
disappearing like subway tracks,
lines that climbed out
from her weary dimple
like trains out of City Station;

she was softer
under the naked light bulb,
incandescent matter
poised mid-whirl,
a momentary flicker
in Rumiโ€™s eyes,
an afterthought
caught in the maelstrom
of an incoming chant;

her face translucent,
the edges blurring
into the aura
weaving round her head;
inviting me to read
the empty pages,
words like thoughts
had pulled away
over the years;

i met her
on an empty platform,
a long way from today,
the me that i could be,
standing alone,
with a smile
and a purple umbrella;
in her bag-
the book I am writing,
weathered and lonesome;

she watched me run
towards the 09.55,
shaking off raindrops
from an imagined ache,
her wrinkled hands
held my arm
for just a moment,
not so fast,
her trembling voice said,
not so fast, my dear,
go craft me
in your own time,
one unsure step
trailing another,
just feel the lines
cross through your heart,
they will come,
for now
just slow down
and mind the gap.

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72 thoughts on “When I missed the 09:55

  1. So evocative – it could be on any subway, underground or metro in the world. That first stanza really spoke to me and the final lines are perfect.

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  2. go craft me
    in your own time,
    one unsure step
    trailing another

    Your description of the scene is so perfectly detailed. It made me think of the moments in life that arrest us, make us hold still for a few minutes and put more effort into our next step.

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  3. I loved every image and minute of this poem..sometimes it is good to step back and look..be mindful of that gap..perhaps it is in the gaps that we can truly be? Also loved that purple umbrella and weathered book…a visual and imaginative feast

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  4. made me think of a friend,deceased now, who used to say “Stop and smell the roses”, yes sometimes we are nudged to slow the pace and with good sense

    A Happy Creative year 2016 to you

    much love…

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  5. This kind of reminded of a Japanese film I saw last year “Garden of Words”. These accidental meetings are sometimes very precious and stay with us like – forever.

    Happy New Year, Thotpurge.

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  6. It seems that the narrator of the poem has met herself on that train platform. (If I understood correctly.) Enjoyed the magical realism…and the book she is writing will get written!

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  7. oh I so liked this, excellent imagery throughout, I particularly liked:
    “an afterthought
    caught in the maelstrom
    of an incoming chant;”
    and, “go craft me
    in your own time,” – very well written, paced and quite the story you’ve crafted. nice

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  8. I love the description of the woman as you detail her in the future and then she collides with herself in the present time and beseeches herself to slow down. You executed this wonderfully…what a great perspective! Happy New Year, Thot!
    Gayle ~

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  9. Like the observation, the way of our feelings and approaches, intentions and actions, the way of life.
    Nice comment by Mary about meeting yourself in future…otherwise I’d thought about some deep relationship …anyway, we always need to take time to observe/prepare for next act of our life/play.

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  10. Everything happens for a reason, and often ‘missed trains’ enforce us to just ‘stand and stare’ when we would otherwise be rushing headlong through another manic day. A lovely piece of writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. This is absolutely beautiful. I love your descriptions, the Rumi reference, and that glimpse of the future you with wise advice. I love it all and this is my favorite of yours.
    Happy New Year and good luck with your book.

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    1. Thanks so much Myrna for your kind comment. I just prefer to write in the first person though it’s almost never personal…no book I’m afraid! A very happy new year to you too!!

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  12. this alluring story captivates me like a beautiful butterfly floating wistfully in front of my face. I want to touch it yet its wonder is beyond my reach. Such a gift you have placed in “the gap.”

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    1. Thanks TioStib. I did want the “gap” to reflect on both the train tracks as well as their ages. Am so glad you picked up on it… Appreciate it so much!

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  13. I love the idea of meeting ourselves, being greeted by our destinies, and the instruction to take our time, to mind the gap… to feel the lines crossing our heart. We truly can’t leap from here to there in an instant. Without the gap– without the life in between– we could never become the person we are…

    Peace
    Michael

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