I stand for the woman whose feet
strain at the straps of her shoes
stare daggers at the snorer
slumped in priority seats.
The 7.17 chorus tells
of a recent Greek wedding
her brother’s? The audience invested as
festivities fill the carriage from a phone.
Jason’s woken early, texts a busy day ahead
we’ll be promised an ending
as long as we plan the next beginning.
His paged namesake remains oblivious.
Medea’s children smile at her
and she breaks down again.
I give her one more station
to change her mind.
The man who will become my Grandad waits by the gangway of the Devonport ferry. Yesterday, he missed his usual trip home and took the later ride. He’s decided now to always be late, deliberately miss the more convenient passage home and wait half an hour for the one ‘the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen’ will be on. He steps into the queue just in time to walk on board with her. Later, at a dance, she throws confetti on him like a prophecy. The woman becomes my Grandma, of course.
The other man who becomes my Grandad quietly follows his son to the bus stop, where a significant goodbye takes place. His son stays on board with the woman he loves for as long as he can then watches the bus leave. As it happens, they meet again, become my parents, but now he needs the comforting arm his father predicted. Both men walk home together, tears along the dusty road.
I’m on a train, swiping left, left, left. Attraction exists not in digital form, a few bad snaps of your weekend shenanigans and a poorly written bio. I look up to see people interacting with the space around them, the way they hold themselves as they stand, their expressions, absorbed in their own distractions – paperbacks and podcasts, a phone conversation. Someone photographs the sunrise. I hear a favourite song tinnily through someone else’s headphones. But I’m just trying to get to work these days.