It's just poetry, it won't bite

On the Platform

02.27.20 Posted in today's words by

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 35 years in eastern Sicily, where he teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared most recently in Ginosko Literary Journal, Abstract Magazine, Neologism Poetry Journal, Poesis, and Thirteen Myna Birds. Martin is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He blogs at

On the Platform
By E. Martin Pedersen

She asked him to marry
waiting for a BART train
9 minutes 15 seconds left
till their coach arrives
they could get on together
he could watch her hips shake
however, they might take two trains
one to Castro Valley one to Millbrae
that would be the end
they’d lose one another
after they won one another
on a BART train platform
standing, staring down the beckoning track
no place to make this decision.

She is waiting
will get on no matter what
he will answer in the next
4 minutes 25 seconds
or he will not.

They are doomed
doors open
commuters off-board
she in movement
he standing still
watching her onboard
the Dublin-Pleasanton
eastbound train
his belly is an empty hole
raising his head
his eyes looking over the car
at a patch of blue
so as not to see
her face looking through
the glass door closing
her tears so hurt
by cowardice
by ambivalence
after such
a heart-breaking proposal
he wanted
to accept,
he really did.

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