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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Procedures for Escape

The train hovers along the track
somewhere between Oshawa and Belleville
and I sit in seat 14
in the aisle across from the emergency window
with a little red hammer
in a small gray box –
the one which every kid, including me
would give up their seat
just to smash

The attendant explains the procedures of escape
to the family of five sitting ahead of me
She’s a cute brunette with high cheekbones
and low lips and probably close to my age
and she asks me if in the event of an emergency
would I be willing to climb out the window with her first
to help her assist all the women and children off the train

I tell her yes, most definitely, and stare back out the window
at the blurred trees and old telephone wires
listening to the sounds the train wheels make
across the cold, hard rails
which always sound a bit like thunder
and a bit like a steel mill in full work-day swing
and I imagine the two of us, hand in hand
leaping out the shattered window
of the recently de-railed
looking like two children jumping off a small cliff
into blue water on a sun-blind afternoon
using their fear of heights
as a meager excuse to hold hands

I look back at the tiny red hammer
in the little gray box
displayed like a javelin in a courtroom
and repeat her question over again in my head
thinking, yes I would be willing to do that
you’re just the first person
to have asked

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