On Platform 3 by Blessing Musariri

Further to the 2018 Harare Literary Festival, this is another of the Zimbabwean poets with whom I’ll be exchanging ideas about Writing and Attention Economy, along with Prof. Etienne van Heerden, Charity Hutete and Sabina Mutangadura, in a panel discussion chaired by Lawrence Hoba.  Blessing and I have quite a bit in common! As well as writing poetry, we both studied journalism at Rhodes University; we both went to Dominican Convents; we worked in advertising agencies as copywriters – and we have the same impulses around trains! Looking forward to meeting Blessing.

On Platform 3

The 3.28 has been cancelled.
I’ve been dropped off and left alone,
no-one likes this side of morning – but I with my love of holiday,
left in singular dread, in a place unusually deserted.
After all, I am not a Lost Boy, wandering through Sudanese nights,
afraid of lions and land-mines. I am in Luton –
well-lit; a target for any passer-by,
who has issues with his mother, but,
it’s the land of CCTV.

They are sorry to announce that
the oh three twenty-eight service to St Pancras
has been cancelled. They should have announced it in my dreams
so I could sleep a little longer.
Time doesn’t tick, but lingers,
drones seamlessly in my ears, bites into skin,
slowing fingers, stiffening limbs,
nibbles at microscopic morsels in my gut until it grumbles.

There’s no one here to answer my questions,
only machines, mouths open for my money.
I’ve walked for miles in tiny circles,
the killer has not come, and still, the tracks are silent.
They don’t announce the loss of the 3.28 anymore,
they are over it now, but I am flying to sea, sun and sand,
I must sit and wait.

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