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Seat 35 on the 18.02

I enjoyed watching you sleep that day
In seat 35 on the 18.02;
While rush-hour bustle held dictatorial sway
I bathed in the oasis of calm that was you...

As the rabble tussled and fought for a seat
You glided through them with effortless grace
To honour my eyes with the absolute treat
Of meditating on the subtle curves of your face...

Beauty was yours: pure, unblemished, yet free
From the boredom that too much perfection brings;
And all would have noticed if they could only see
A smile that could relax tension's tautest strings...

Not for an instant did the frantic hubbub cease;
Noise for its own sake, blindly persistent as rain;
But my eyes were on you and the aura of peace
That you brought to a tiniest part of this train...

For we shared no words, no thoughts, just time,
Measureless time we spent apart from the world;
I found peace in your peace, part of the sublime
Shroud of solitude you effortlessly unfurled...

And the world could find, I think, a quieter way,
Free from the frenzied anarchy riddling it through,
If only it could watch you sleep some day
In seat 35 on the 18.02...


As you might imagine, I wrote this on a train: a real 18.02 from Bradford to Halifax, as I returned home from work. I have no idea who the young lady was.

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