May 18, 2009

Joanna M. Weston


Musty smell of curry
burned into flea-ridden
seats, horse-hair pricking
cracked mirror
antique prints, brown
daguerreotype school
girl, unlettered eyes,
leather window strap
with worn snub-holes,
fag-ends strayed under
seats where extra suitcases
support dangling feet

Creak, bluster and crack
of ticket-collector's
rough slide-door arrival

Tingle of cinders harsh
in a tunnel, window crashed
shut leaking sooty smells,
reflecting wide-eyes, disheveled
hair, uneasy eagerness
until they burst into
country or long lines of smutted
laundry, row-houses smudged,
gardens wilted, sooted

Down the corridor, clackety
clack to the toilet-stink,
balance and pee but don't
touch: flush and watch
the sleepers catch and fly
under, sticky handles of sweat and
long-passed disease

Return to the clunkety-
clunk old velveteen; nothing to
do but smell, touch, watch


Joanna M. Weston has published poetry, reviews, and short stories in anthologies and journals for twenty years. She has also published two middle-readers, The Willow-Tree Girl, and Those Blue Shoes, and a book of poetry, A Summer Father.

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