Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Waiting for the Train: Sestina 2

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Waiting for the Train: Sestina 2

Article excerpt

Afternoon drops a blanket around the station house

as she paces inside waiting for the train

and watches the sky dissolve the buildings with rain

that washes the grime of brick onto streets and turns

the city into shades of gray. She welcomes this change

in weather -warm, dark and thoughtful like afternoon tea.

She thinks of rainy days when she was young, how tea

with milk and scones, a blanket and her own warm house

were all she wished for on such a day. -How things change

she thinks, as she feels the rumbling of a train

passing fast beneath her feet. She turns

away, but still can hear the rain.

There is something painfully rich about this rain,

the way it insistently reminds. She buys a cup of tea

and buries her face in the rising steam that turns

her glasses grey. She wants to sleep, but a station house

is not a home, not even for a train.

All around and under people come and go and all is change.

She wonders why things have to change,

why afternoons and tea, and even home and rain

turn sad, and why this sadness, this waiting for a train

is more compelling now than a steaming cup of tea.

- Does everyone cherish sadness in a station house?

Does everyone see rain, then turn

Away? - She wants to go away, to turn

into another life that isn't hurt by change.

But the stained-glass dome enfolds the station house,

holds her there, as outside the clouds of rain

wrap the passers-by and shops in a gray unity. …

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