Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Illustrated fiction;Julia Green and Esther Coombs

Prose poem: Trains

It’s a movie. There’s a woman on a train. In that book, they ride a train. We all have many, many places to hurdle toward and escape from, and thank god for all these trains. How else would we seek out that important, forgotten place? Or elude the demanding members of our family? On trains, we are happily free to sob and huff and clutch handkerchiefs to our cheeks as the rumbles shake our bowels and the steam whistle echoes our mourning. We stare out at the cows in the fields. Brown and slow, they are firmly rooted in the earth upon which they stand, while we zip by. We long for the cow’s life, chewing the same cud every day, teats manipulated diligently, daily, giving the world milk. We wish to be that purposeful.

But we are not. We don’t even know where we’re going, or why we feel the strange way we feel. All we know is the conductor does not look at us knowingly, and teenage hooligans are caught rifling through bags at the edge of the car. A baby cries and two cell phones ring and it’s too hard to hear the romance of the journey above the infernal din. Someone cracks a window, and the smell of cow shit is everywhere.

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