train stations late at night
the sort of places a writer ought to be
there’s a drunk man eating a loaf of bread
it’s nearly half past three
a couple in their own isolated world;
eyes for nothing but each other
a business man in a suit
texting “don’t wait up” to his lover
is his lover a man or a woman?
you can try to guess from his attire
the thing is you will never know –
not when this moment has expired.

a writer can craft their stories
giving all these people a voice
a writer can say what they’re doing here
why they each made the choice
to be out and about at this hour
when they could be in their beds instead;
where they’re going to, coming from,
next to whom they’ll lay their heads
when they get into their flats, houses,
their university accommodation
or maybe they’ll try to sleep
on a bench in this very station

create your stories from strangers,
use the unknown as your base paint
sketch out the lines in pencil first
then be bold, don’t you dare be faint
write about why suzie loves him, even still
why he keeps so many cacti on his window sill
write about why his boots are all scuffed
how much she regrets having treated him so rough
write about why these people get up each day
it’s your duty to write exactly what
these people have to say
they may not know it themselves
but you can translate
shit. your train is here.

better stop daydreaming,
or you’ll be late.