It Was Nothing to Do with Me

It Was Nothing to Do with Me

Somewhere near the middle of the state
the train finally filled up
The empty seat next to me
got popular
Changed occupants
three times in three hours
They got on they got off
It was nothing to do with me.

I looked out the window
while I felt them sit down not to stay
felt them get up to leave
and not to want to know anything more.
Man woman child ghost I don’t know
what they were there for
what they were wanting
I kept my eyes on the outside passing by.
It was nothing to do with me.


13 thoughts on “It Was Nothing to Do with Me

    • Thank you! I appreciate it. This poem took a long time for me to get it right – it was much longer and wordier and I kept paring it down. I wanted to describe the feeling I had on a train trip quite a few years ago that has stuck with me.

  1. I think the mention of the “ghost” is what really makes this poem because it really communicates that idea of being in forced proximity with people one chooses not to interact with. I know that I prefer to pretend that there is nobody next to me when travelling in such ways. I often use the trick of reading or even fake reading to avoid someone starting a conversation with me.

    • Oh the reading/fake reading. The most useful technique there is and so time-honored. I guess now we can add the earphones in ears thing, too.

      • It failed me once. Spectacularly. Reading on a flight, I went to turn the page in the novel and the chap next to me asked me to stop because he had not read that page yet. Yes! He was reading MY book!

    • Everything is moving along, but at different paces, and in different directions, and sometimes we meet and then move on. Like a river, I often think, not a very original thought, but that is what always seems to be the right simile.

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