The Night Train

Standard

Conductor, send my love on the Night Train.
The fast train.
The sleek black bullet flying straight as a shot train.
I want it sent first-class, post-haste
delays notwithstanding
no missed connections, signal failures
no leaves on the line, and not a flake of the wrong kind of snow
because I’m sending my love on the Night Train.

I tried freight, but it was too impersonal
tried courier, but he didn’t handle it properly
tried mail, but the postman didn’t understand
tried smoke signals, carrier pigeon, message in a bottle
even the internet
but none of that worked.
So I’m sending my love on the Night Train
because the rocking of the carriage is gentle
and railway tracks are so much longer than arms.

I’m sending my love on the Night Train
stopping at London, Peterborough, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh
Belfast, Stockholm, Bergen, Vilnius-
-I’m sorry conductor, you’re just going to have to find a way.
And I hope you speak English, Welsh, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, two kinds of Elvish and the Black Speech of Mordor
because I don’t.
That would be ridiculous.

There’s a lot that could go wrong.
I’m sending my love
but it has such a long way to go.
It gets exhausted sometimes
it inexcusably can’t be bothered sometimes
in fact, it may fall asleep
and miss its stop
forget its railcard
lose its luggage
get on the wrong train entirely, so
be careful with it.

Stoke the boilers
fire the engines
blow the whistle
and send my love
on the night train.

***

Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Photographer: Vince Pahkala

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