July Tenth

26 11 2006

At first I’m surprised
No fear, no feelings at all.
Just a normal Monday,
Retracing steps taken
Hundreds of times before.
Down into the hot, dusty tunnels
And onto the gusty platform.
I stand in my usual spot.
Still no flutter of panic
As I climb up into the carriage –
Only half-full.
But then the tube jolts –
A collective gasp
Betrays our fear,
Defiantly hidden and ignored.
And all at once I am flooded
With much repeated images:
Smoke and shock,
The lady’s face covered in a dressing,
The gurney rushed down the road,
The twisted metal of the Number 30.
And just as my throat tightens
And sweat slicks my neck,
The doors open at my stop
And I spill out and take a breath.

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