MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0015 The Couple On The Station Platform

There’s this couple
they’re standing there, not close enough
to be about to kiss and separate,
one for the train, the other
more slowly back, but close

people pass them, one way, the other,
they’re still; they’re calm, it’s an important decision but
they’re sensible people, they’re
going to make this together,
give each other space, take it
slowly so that

years and children on from now
they’ll look back and know
they did the right thing at the time
whether they’re together then or
happily two different families,
two different partners,
no regrets.

if they’d been standing like that for
just five seconds, they’d be simply
deciding whether there was time
to grab a quick snack or whether
to risk what’s on the train but

they’re still standing there; time
is less important than that
they should decide together so that
they’ll feel the same way forever
as they feel soon, when the moment comes
that they know what they’ll do

this is not a film, or some poem which
has a beginning and an end
it's now and it’s two lives
and I, an onlooker drawn in
a passing glance, into these two lives,
am caring for these two people
I know nothing about, so much that
I cannot bear to know the outcome
in case I know too much
even though I know they’ll make
the right decision. I
walk on, slowly, as if I’m
carrying something important that
I’ll unpack later.

User Rating: 2,7 / 5 ( 19 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

public places like this are just fodder for observation and poetry. another great write, Michael! Jake
This held me Michael, a clever 'thought out' write. Lovely story, left one wondering too how they ended up. Happily I hope. Loved it. Love Ernestine XXX
I agree with Judy Levine. I like the idea of knowing they'll make the right decision - at some point.
I like this poem very much. I like how you handle the tension in it so gently. I especially like your optimism of 'knowing' they'll make the right decision, but I can't help but to feel that they'll each live a lifetime wondering. Very nice write.
This is wonderful Michael! I think many couples (unfortunately) find themselves in this situation. What a sad point in a relationship....... Great poem. Sincerely, Mary
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