• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 120 other followers

  • Archives

  • The Just Poets Tweets

April 17th JP Poem Pick

Today’s poem was chosen by David Delaney. Hope you all enjoy!

Train

by Helen MacKay

Will the train never start?

God, make the train start.

 

She cannot bear it, keeping up so long;

and he, he no more tries to laugh at her.

He is going.

 

She holds his two hands now.

Now, she has touch of him and sight of him.

And then he will be gone.

He will gone.

 

They are so young.

She stands under the window of his carriage,

and he stands in the window.

They hold each other’s hands

across the window ledge.

And look and look,

and know that they may never look again.

 

The great clock of the station-

how strange it is.

Terrible that the minutes go,

terrible that the minutes never go.

 

They had walked the platform for so long,

up and down, and up and down-

the platform, in the rainy morning,

up and down, and up and down.

 

The guard came by, calling,

“Take your places, take your places.”

 

She stands under the window of his carriage,

and he stands in the window.

 

God, make the train start!

Before they cannot bear it,

make the train start!

 

God, make the train start!

 

The three children, there,

in black, with the old nurse,

standing together, and looking, and looking,

up at their father in the carriage window,

they are so forlorn and silent.

 

The little girl will not cry,

but her chin trembles.

She throws back her head,

with its stiff little braid,

and will not cry.

 

Her father leans down,

out over the ledge of the window,

and kisses her, and kisses her.

 

She must be like her mother,

and it must be the mother who is dead.

The nurse lifts up the smallest boy,

and his father kisses him,

leaning through the carriage window.

 

The big boy stands very straight,

and looks at his father,

and looks, and never takes his eyes from  him,

And knows that he may never look again.

 

Will the train never start?

God, make the train start!

 

The father reaches his hand down from the window,

and grips the boy’s hand,

and does not speak at all.

 

Will the train never start?

 

He lets the boy’s hand go.

 

Will the train never start?

 

He takes the boy’s chin in his hand,

leaning out through the window,

and lifts the face that is so young, to his.

They look and look,

and know that they may never look again.

 

Will the train never start?

God, make the train start!

 

For today’s prompt, let’s write a poem about, or using repetition as an inspiration. Have fun with it!

Advertisements

One Response

  1. Interesting in that Delaney usually chooses brief and terse over extended and conversational. Written in the WWI era, from a book edited by Andrew Motion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: