TRAIN RIDE: A Review

Poetry could be fun with stories told in such a few words. While some are said in deep metaphor, others are expressed with depth coming from simplicity. “Train Ride” creates an impact far beyond just telling at first read. Apparently, this captures an interest. Here’s a brief review for each stanza:

      Remember? she kept saying Remember?
      as if it were the last few
      bubbles from her drowning.

This drew a picture of taking the other person to “that” moment she could brand it as theirs. The two last lines in this stanza built up the tone—frustration, I’d say, or depending on how much of a recollection he could get from memory, or if there was any at all.

       But she wasn’t drowning.
      Her hair was dry
      and she had a smile,
      not the frozen stun
      of someone sinking.

A few more lines added up details to the picture. An image surfaced:  frustration indeed stirred up, brushing up melancholic shades. She didn’t get the reception she was hoping to achieve. Somehow a bit of acceptance to a reaction received.

     She could have said the word
     over and over like she was
     underwater.  And this guy,
     her boyfriend, I gather
     by the way she lost herself,
     threw her the look
     of someone pushing a stranger
     into the cold, dark water.

Not much detail on how his denial went—he might have ignored what she said, or pretended not to remember anything. An unwelcome look spoke volumes. “Pushing a stranger into the cold, dark water” was quite a vivid imagery of withdrawal by a person who didn’t want to get involved—further than he already was.

      I pretended to be still
      reading the old newspaper
      I found in the station.
      Whatever she wanted him
      to remember, I’d forgotten.

Now here’s the voice of the storyteller, his part in the scene after the story was told. So much like us when we had our chance furtively ear poking into or peering an eye through invisible lens while we were in the same scene portraying a backdrop role.

     The train was pulling
     again and all of us
     felt the jolt.

And these were clever lines to end the poem: Going back to the usual daily routine involving everyone else. It created a connection to readers— people generally. It was the point of seeing people getting on with whatever they were into. And this could be a prelude to another story, which could be your own.

Train Ride” is written by Jim Pascual Agustin. This poem also appears here.

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