On the train


People say

Maybe you shouldn’t

use the train.

Others say

it’s fine.

Detailed safety advice

is given.

On the train

amongst ordinary people

the perceived atmosphere

of fear and suspicion

the sea of stern faces

seems impenetrable

until it is shattered

by a simple smile


and returned.

The walls come tumbling down

and I feel safe.

Who would have thought it’d be

such a powerful demolition weapon.

To initiate the exchange

can take a little courage

can seem a risk

but the reward of the inevitable response

far out-weighs the cost.

Cameos of humanity:

old ladies chattering

wearing woolen hats despite the heat,

a man with two small children squirming,

someone casually flicking through a paper,

a teenage girl playing music,

a man with a crutch and a red Liverpool cap.

For each, a smile is all it takes

to connect humanity to humanity.

I like taking the train

with the beautiful people of Cape Town

none of them ordinary

each of them precious.

Photo credit: Rudi Novem

All poems and original writing on this blog are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2012

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