The Train

by Pragjyotish Bhuyan Gogoi

Train no. 12424 passes through the station
At 3:00 in the afternoon,
Making a cut across the heart of the timid town,
Disrupting its machinery for a few minutes,
And waking the clerk up from his hypnosis
In the District Magistrate’s office.
He turns his gaze away from his files
Towards the blank wall,
Which gives way
To him and his father
In the paddy fields of his village
On an early May morning,
And that whistle of 12424,
Drawing his gaze away from the mud
Towards the smoke-blowing machine,
As the crops sway in unison at a distance,
As if bowing in utter awe.

When the train departs
With a sweet parting whistle,
The clerk gets back to his files,
And the child gets back to helping his father.

Pragjyotish hails originally from Golaghat, a small town located in the state of Assam, India. He currently resides in New Delhi, and is pursuing his PhD in Physics from the University of Delhi. He admires deeply the works of T. S. Eliot and William Blake, among others.