underground

 

"2 minutes away"
Said the sign
Its digital display
Unblinking, reporting
Telling a story
In its own sweet time
I looked at her
She smiled
Almost tripping someone
As she hitched down her skirt

"One minute"
Said the sign
But what did it know,
As she shifted the weight
Of the bag on her back
And I reached for the note
In my pocket.

She mouthed a bye
Over the racket of arrival
And pressed by the crowds
We were parted
As the doors hissed shut
And she pulled away.

"Next arrival 15 minutes"
Said the sign
But I didn't believe it
And felt a weight leave my hand
As the note hit the bin.

 

copyright dan abel 1997