Mark Fraser: Day Ninety Eight – Central Station Dance

Posted on April 8, 2011 by

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Days begin and end in this terminus,
Under a neon sign that’s shuffling times,
(Whifflet – 14:16, Edinburgh – 14:18, Paisley Canal – 14:38)
People are bounced between the metal benches,
Swapping furtive glances in the shops and bars.

Through the centre of the commuter dance floor,
A young woman drops a malteaser
and it rolls in between the steps.

This place is many things to many people –
Commuters are dejected by it,
Children are mesmerized by it,
Teenagers congregate in it,
And others are simply passing through.

A station is a place that most people are only ever passing through.

Holidays start and finish underneath its glass atrium
but to many people it’s a lonely place.
Getting from A to B on their own,
leaving loved ones for a new home,
Ear phones in, ready to go,
Insular and isolated with frowns all lined up
in a row.

By its very nature, people only ever depart from this place.

In the thronging crowd I sit and spectate
As others sway in a secluded way,
Reclusive and isolated, dancing to the same tune
with a strange synergy between each other.

Loneliness fills this place.
Loved ones part from one another,
People travel to work alone
(ignoring each other in steel tubes),
and the staff here are lonelier than anyone else,
because they see it happen
and it moves them no more.

The chocolate ball rolls on,
lost and so far from home.
No one watches after it, and no one sees it go,
rolling out the door, alone.

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Posted in: Mark Fraser