Friday, July 28, 2017

A man watching from a bench and smiling

The Dance
by James Pickles

There was something that made you want to laugh,
as though the fat man's rush for the train
was somehow deliberately choreographed,
with the timing practiced again and again -
a crescendoing drumroll scurrying his feet
speeding down stairs and plump on the beat
exactly through the closing doors,
a small leap - then great applause.

I almost then expected him to reemerge
and take a bow, the platform loudly cheering.
But he had gone, entirely submerged,
leaving only ripples quietly disappearing -
in the growing distance the train's rhythm subsiding,
the cleared platform; a man watching from a bench and smiling.
Published in The Spectator, May 4, 2002

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