People Watching

Quietly,
we take the train
from here to there
to back again
and pause
at every station;

morning
to midnight.

Crowds flood
through the doorway.
They diffuse
onto the train
and off again.

‘Ordinary people,’
it has been said;
but belief
cannot be blind.

We imagine their stories.

We leave
ourselves
for an instant,
delve deep
into their
banalities.

We watch in silence
but our brains,
hum, whirr, spark,

churning out
proposals,
pressing out
predictions.
conjuring
their undisclosed
intricacies

affairs
agendas,
intentions,
desires.

We can pick their tell.

A twisted ring,
or the dog-eared page
of a tired book.

It does not take us long.

Platforms change,
the people too,
but we watch
from here to there
to back again
and pause
at every station;

morning
to midnight,

carefully
extracting
the essence
of ordinary.

—By Nicola H.