This week, we welcome Bruce E. Whitacre, for his poem “Station Square,” recently published on North of Oxford. His work has appeared in Cagibi, HIV Here and Now by Indolent Books, Poets Wear Prada and World Literature Today. He holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is an activist and advocate for the arts and social justice. Check out his website and follow him on Instagram, where he publishes a daily haiku.
I will walk to Station Square
Though I won’t take the train
Or check out new cocktails at the bar.
I won’t worry about departures or arrivals,
Weather delays or locked waiting rooms.
I haven’t looked at a schedule for weeks.
Tickets crumple in my pocket.
The trackside trees are leafing out without me.
The funny man who pees all the time
Is no longer a comfort station customer.
The pushy lady who grabs the first seat
Must now roll easily from kitchen chair to couch,
We gaze at screens, not out the windows
Of the empty trains passing by without us
Through a region frozen in emergency,
Of seething hospitals and blinded shops.
Trains clack over the heads of parents juggling children
And accounts unaided and without success:
Too much out of reach; too much passed them by;
Too many cash-earners gone.
Their losses will pull the spikes from all our rails,
Knock the train from the trestle,
And there will be nothing to wait for
Coming round the bend.
I turn back down the silent streets
And walk home from Station Square.