Longlisted Poem 2012

Aithne Moran

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London


The train rocks with glares of sunlight, jolting me awake
and slipping out of my seat, till I teeter above the crystalline
chessboard of train tracks. Circling me are petite passengers
hanging damply like washing from handrails, their scuffed,
flickering trainers dangling in that gelatinous blur between
roof and rail. I glance down for the ground, and it is my hands
that ripple back at me, weaving nervously through the thick air.

The carriage has been bristling for the last hour with the beat
of muttered conversations and quotations, each lungful washing
the train with streams of turquoise oil that shift with the vehicle
around me, filtering us through a hastening pulse of tunnels.
The water vapour dissipates swiftly to the sudden shriek of rails
at the next station, toppling me backwards toward a warm seat,
and as the fabric collapses, I sink into sheaves of paperwork.
© Aithne Moran

Project Details

  • Date January 15, 2015
  • Tags 2012 Voyages - Longlisted Poems