Whistle Stop

I watched an old black and white once, where a lady sat waiting
day after day, for a train to bring her man home from war.
Sometimes I buy roses, wrapped in brown paper, expecting
someone to ask who they’re for. I’ll say I’m meeting my girl
at the station, though trains rarely stop in this town. It’s easier
that way, full of romance. Streets are friendly when you’re carrying flowers–
packed with smiles and nods–like they’re not full of lonely people,
each hoping someone will see them. In a cafe, I listen to small talk
about Angie and Brad and how nothing is built to last
anymore. I check my watch and look up often
as though I have someplace to be. I hear the train
rumble past, not stopping, drop my roses
in the bin as I leave.

Ryan Stone


29 thoughts on “Whistle Stop

  1. Very lovely. Although I think this speaker is putting on appearances. Trying to appear as if he is meeting his girl at the train station, like he has someone to buy flowers for. It’s kind of empty, he’s doing it to make conversation, he’s very lonely as many people are and he acts a certain way and tries to appear in a certain light; he infers so does Brad and Angie. It’s a show, you don’t know what’s behind it. The speaker’s truth of this because the flowers were a prop and no girl is getting off the train, the flowers and perhaps, stories, only make people open up and talk. Perhaps, material for the writer?


  2. Truly gorgeous poem, honestly one of the best I’ve read in a while–and I read a lot! I like how you incorporated that juxtaposition with the older days (the black and white film) and now (Brad and Angie’s breakup), and just the general theme of the poem of loneliness that you expressed in such a unique manner. I haven’t read a piece like this and I won’t soon forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

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