Treasure Island

Rory Hudson

(10 January 1952 / Adelaide, Australia)

The Werribee Line

Steel lines curve across
the wide flat plains,
and every day, the trains
make their earnest pilgrimage
to the temples of the city;
the commuters expectant, hopeful
of glories to be,
not noticing that the factories and megastores they pass by
have turned their backs on them,
presenting not their alluring consumer smiles,
but their ugly backsides to the trains.
Even the suburban houses
show only their backyards and dirty linen
to the trains that speed past.

From a corner of my window
I catch a glimpse of the sea,
grey under cloudy skies -
but only for a moment,
then we pass on.

Each day they ride these trains -
the tired and the hungry,
back and forth, back and forth,
in time enough
for hopes and desires to be born and die
to the steady rhythm of the wheels
clattering and chattering against the tracks
in a foreign but familiar language -
it must mean something, one feels,
it must mean something,
as it plays over and over
in the cogs of the brain….

The line ends
where these sentences end
in a full stop.
But only temporarily -
for the line is always there,
always waiting
for the next train.

Submitted: Thursday, May 28, 2009
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