Tom Sleigh

(Texas / United States)

On the Platform


The omen I didn't know I was waiting for
pulled into the station the same instant as the train.
It was just a teenage boy busking on the platform,
cello cutting through garble, Bach's repetitions

hard-edged as a scalpel probing an open wound.
But then I kept thinking how a sound wave
travels the path of least resistance,
how the notes rebound off steel and stone

the same as a blast wave shattering row on row
of windows as it swerves through the city.
And when the music stops, on the balcony

above the rubble, coffee and tea are served.
And if there's sugar, is it one lump or two
and did you hear what happened to Mrs. So and So?
2
I saw, out from under the grime, whiskers
dipping into clear water that trickled between
the rails to get the feel of what was near—
the same scene as on the church wall, the slimy brethren

gathered at the river, one gnawing
an ear of corn, the rest intently listening
to Francis teaching them their catechism
about the wild man John and his crucified cousin.

Except they were birds in the painting, not rats.
But let's go with that, let them stand
on hind legs and sniff incense and myrrh

wafting down from high up in the air
so that one day on miraculous, fly paper feet
they'll scale the golden walls and storm the high ground.
3
Nothing moving on the platform, nothing for miles.
And then a shovel clanging against paving stone
like an old man clearing rubble while a rat climbs a vine
and looks into the broken window and smells the smells.

Rubble shoulder high after two weeks work,
a toilet with a sink and a light on a pull chain
stand framed at the end of the gravel walk
already sprouting suckers leafing out more green

from the fire that scorched the burned out bush.
Ten years, fifteen, and tree limbs shade the bedrooms
and branch out window frames toward the sun.

And where the electric pump pumped water for the town
the wellhead lies broken and two clear streams
wear ruts in the floor of the wrecked house.

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 14, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (On the Platform by Tom Sleigh )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Christ: The Light Of The World, Denis Martindale
  6. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  7. Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. Daffodils, William Wordsworth

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Behind Lashes, naida supnet
  2. Timeless Era Of Thought, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Those Ignorant Steps, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  4. Pen Me Passion, Shania K. Younce
  5. Curiosity's Appetite, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Why Do Bad Things happen to good people?, Shania K. Younce
  7. Kira My Love, Michael P. McParland
  8. Full Understanding, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. Devil Does Find My Need, Adeosun Olamide
  10. Peterborough Cry, Moses Samandar
[Hata Bildir]