the musings of an uncomfortable train passenger on the way to a life threatening interview


I looked, and indeed, there were sheeps

Another jubilant cry, “sheeps!”

This time on the other side.

The woman with 32 gigabytes of RAM on her knee raises an eyebrow.

Like a proper guided tour

“On your right you will see the stately home of so and so

and on your left, and more importantly, we have some sheep

“Sheep”  More confident now, and singular. Grammatically accurate.

Corrected, but not to the detriment of Interest

Who was still sitting tight second seat from the left, travelling backwards.

The mother of the professional sheep spotter is tired

A jaded peanut butter sandwich rests in her lap.

“Is that London you can hear?”

Asked the sheep spotter turned sound technician

As the train hurtled through King’s Sutton.

“It’s the tracks”

“No it’s not, I can hear London”

“It’s the tracks”

“No it’s not”

“Alright then, it’s London”

It was, irrefutably London

Once past the hunched hamlets of Northamptonshire

The sounds had changed

The ticklish syncopation of the rhythm of the train

Had switched tempo without warning.

Later, the emphasis was now on the first beat of the bar

No old ladies soft-stepping between village tea parties

Or sticky schoolchildren.

Just sullen automaton engrossed

In feats of virtual memory

Having long forgotten to make use of their own.

The train had no driver now

No engine, nothing

It was London that drew it closer, pulling it along the track

As the negative attracts the positive

The clatter of the city overwhelmed me

“sheeps?”  I looked and there were none.