Two Trains, Poetry by Vin Maskell

Two trains

The couple, long together,
wait on Platform 6
Nearly 11pm
a Saturday night
a warm Saturday night

They are heading home
from seeing their youngest son
drumming with two bands
For friends and family mainly
everyone tucked,
politely squeezed
into a little record bar
on the northern line

They are amongst the oldest there
by, well, a generation
A train arrives at Platform 5
as if from another planet
another world
certainly another branch line

It is not simply full
it is jam-packed
almost bursting
It is glowing
lit with lustre
with a thousand young passengers
standing shoulder to shoulder
hip to hip
cheek to cheek
phone to phone

They are dressed
for a Saturday night
a warm Saturday night
Which is to say
some are dressed
not much at all
(They had been,
the couple learn
the next day,
to a dj music festival
called Sugar Mountain
held not on a mountain
or even a hill
but a seaside venue
ten stops
down the western line)

The couple
catch but a glimpse
of the thousand or more
music lovers –
kindred to the keen audience
at the record bar
but multiplied many, many times over –
for their own conveyance
is rolling towards them
seconds away

As they board
they see the parallel train
the other world
taking its sated cargo –
soaked in ten hours of beats and grooves
and god knows what else –
to Sunday morning and beyond
the carriages of the future
click-clacking over the sleepers

Their own train
is not near so crowded
but plentiful enough
an assortment of ages and faces
People heading home
to their station in life
on a warm Saturday night.

Photos by Marcus Wong. Image sourced via WongM’s Rail Gallery:

A headshot of Vin Maskell
 -- Website

Vin Maskell is from Australia and runs the fabulous site and music-lit concert series Stereo Stories.