listening on trains
I hear the woman two seats behind talking on her phone.
Trying to ignore the fact that she is alone.
I hear the sighs of the man next to me,
Showing his dissatisfaction in the phone call,
But she will never hear, her phone acting as a wall between her and the world.
I hear when an elderly lady yawns, tries to stifle another, fails.
I can hear the wail of the baby further down the train.
The mother tries to hush it, distract it, ignore it, to no avail.
Every journey is the same, trying not to hear, fighting with the smiles and winces
That break through my face and onto the page and over the seats to bounce off the window panes.
Because when I listen to others on trains, I always give away more than I gain.