My Poetic Path

My journey…shared in poems, prose and photos.

The Night Train


It begins with the glimpse of shapely, silken leg.
Perfectly stemmed in a black velvet pump.
Another lurch of the night train.
He abruptly awakens from a dreamless sleep.
Too tired to care.
With no energy to read or,
even to stare.
Through the long narrow window,
the endless moving night.
 Enveloped in the heavy, stifling curtains.
There again below; passing the dim row of lights.
Barely visible,
the shuffling feet of new arrivals.
Latecomers to the night train.
They lightly capture his attention; then the glorious gams.
No time to release the buttoned wall.
She is gone.
 The next morning comes quickly, brilliantly bright.
Through the flimsy pulled blind.
Sleep will come…
Later, much later.
Now, the choice is simple.
Breakfast and a stroll through the endless cars.
Somewhere, on the captive train.
She must be there.
 The bustling, elegant diner.
 Young and old; file in and congregate.
 Also escaping the boredom of their berths.
Strong coffee, eggs and fragrant toast.
He settles in to the hum of the passengers, the clatter of dishes.
          No need to re-check last night’s pleasurable, fleeting memory.
It is the startling crystal blue eyes that will rivet him.
Lost in her gaze, from the end of the car.
His breath quickens. 
     Gathers up his fragile courage,
but fails to stand and walk the narrow aisle.
Cannot stop at the table,
where she sits,
quietly alone.
 He is a young man heading to the black gold of Alberta.
She is a pretty young woman, also heading west.
 Would this be the crossing of their separate paths?
Or merely another,
chance encounter.
“The Night Train” © 2008 Geraldine H. Hartman 
Photo courtesy: Flickr
Written in response to the Matinee Muse prompt at Writer’s Island for Friday April 11th: Chance Encounter

Photo courtesy: Flickr

PS: Here’s the follow-up post to The Night Train. All is revealed…


Author: Geraldine

I am a freelance writer, poet, artisan, avid book/product reviewer and award-winning cookbook author. I recently published the second volume of my new vegetarian cookbook series: The Groovy Green Kitchen (Volume 2): Simply, Super, Supper Soups and my inspirational, pro-active and fun book/eBook, all about aging well: Laughing AT the Grim Reaper! Gems of Wisdom for Aging Well. I am also the author of: The Groovy Green Kitchen (Volume 1): Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker. Third Chapter, Second Chance (a mid-life romance). Not Just for Vegetarians: Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way and the poetry collections: Haiku Reflections: The Four Seasons (Volumes I, II and III) and My Poetic Path. These titles are available at all the Amazon sites. When I'm not writing or creating new recipes, I love to knit and crochet; usually with some "help" from feline friend, the yarn-loving Mr. Cheddar! 🐱 With Blogger, I also host my new author's site: Geraldine Helen Hartman and my product review blog: My Real Life Reviews. I hope you will visit often and enjoy all of my sites.😂 Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing You a Happy Week and Namaste!

20 thoughts on “The Night Train

  1. Ok – I need to know – was it destiny or a chance encounter?!

  2. well? do they meet?
    the suspense!

  3. I like the way you build the anticipation! Well done!

  4. Nice use of the word “gam”! Glad I could be of assistance with that. 🙂

  5. For me, this harks back to many of the movies I love from the 40s and 50s. You have captured the vibe so well. There is a sense of possibility and of mystery. I’d like to imagine this entire scene is a precursor to a romance. Please do a Part Two so I can know for sure. Please, pretty please….

  6. I love this line: “Too tired to care.
    With no energy to read or,
    even to stare.”
    It sums up the feeling very nicely, and slips you into his mindset – nice contrast with the latter part of the poem when someone catches his interest!

  7. I think it might be a chance all begins that way isnt it

  8. Thought provoking stuff… Some people say ‘we plan our dreams’ ~ we choose… romance? But who knows?

  9. Reminds me of Hitchcock and film noir. Lovely atmosphere and story in this piece, with a fantastic pic!

  10. I agree with Selma and Billy. This definitely has the feel of an old black and white movie…probably Hitchcock. I’ll also be waiting for Part two.

  11. It does – send out black and white movie vibes, doesn’t it. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for more!

  12. Bravo! well written. You have me wondering where the two souls paths will take them.. I just finished watching a love story on master piece theater and this was fitting to read after the story of romance, tragedy, and new hope. l

  13. Hi Cricket, Jen and Gautami, Glad to read that the ‘suspense factor’ is coming through in this writing. It worked!

    Hi Linda, Thank you!

    Hi Red Pen, Yes, thank you for the ‘heads up’. It is a slang term that seems to have run it’s course a bit. I still like it!

    Hi Selma, This is the era I am trying to capture. The days of elegant train cars, gorgeous opulent clothing etc….

    Hi Constance, We’ve all felt that way, haven’t we?

    Hi Rambler, All will be clear….

    Hi S.T. Guy, Welcome to MPP. Thank you for your compliment and insights.

    Hi Billy, Again, the atmosphere I was indeed hoping to capture. The photo, isn’t it a gem? It took some searching but I thought it was perfect for the story.

    Hi Carole, Appreciate your comment and your visit.

    Hi Tumblewords, I may not have Part 2 to share but I will be explaining the inspiration for this story, soon.

    Hi Gemma, Thanks so much.

    Yes, there is more of the story to reveal…. It is based on a true event and one I always kept in the back of my creative memory bank, for later use. Stay tuned….

    Thank you all for stopping by. Your comments and visits, most appreciated.

  14. Wonderful! I felt the atmosphere the others did. I walked with him, breathless. Very well portrayed.

  15. Great story, G. , such suspense in a poem. Looking forward to the next “installment” as well. I agree with others who said that you definitely achieved the to goal of capturing the spirit of old-time movies.

  16. i love it… and i cannot help but feel that it is worthy of further exploration… i for one would love to know what happens next…..

  17. This really sucks you into a different time and place…you really feel transformed…but I too want to know what happens next. 🙂

  18. Hi Jason, Thank you. I sense that you are one very romantic guy! 🙂 Glad you could relate to this story.

    Hi Caroline, Thank you so much C. I am so glad this story struck a chord with so many readers, including you!

    Hi Paisley, And I hope the ‘real story’ is a good PS, to this one that I wrote. I hope the ‘blue-eyed’ lady enjoyed it too!

    Hi Ruinwen, Great to read, thanks R.

    As you can see in the post above, all has been revealed.

    Here’s to romance and mystery, G 🙂

  19. I love this, Geraldine.
    I agree there is a 40’s feel to it, and as well, I thought the rhythm of the poem caught the feel of riding on the train.
    Your Mom had beautiful blue eyes indeed.
    P.S. I will read the follow-up.

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