Thursday, 1 August 2013

Leaving Vigo

With sad and friendly eyes she answers yes
when I ask if Santiago trains are on.
Seventy-five fatalities, or more:
 un accidente horrible - she nods.
A message wishes us a pleasant trip,                                                  
the carriage has an eerie muffled mood,
its notice says 130 km per hour,
we read our newspapers and phones, subdued.
I see Camino pilgrims stumbling,
their spirits springing up from bloody rails;
fresh donations from Gallegos streaming
through some survivors’ arteries and veins.
The train conductor doesn’t meet my gaze.
At journey’s end we disembark with haste.

© Maeve O’Sullivan

Spanish train crash: Galicia derailment kills 78

Maeve O’Sullivan works as a media lecturer in Dublin. She has published her poems and haiku widely. Her first haiku collection, Initial Response, was launched by Alba Publishing in 2011. www.twitter.com/maeveos

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful sonnet, Maeve. The rhythm, language and restraint heighten the elegiac mood and the isolation of each individual within the mourning crowd.
    Breda Wall Ryan

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Wall Ryan!

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    2. Well said, Breda. I agree. Congrats on this poem being nominated for the Forward Prize, Maeve!

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  2. A tragic event sympathetically and poetically marked.

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  3. A sombre mood perfectly captured.

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    1. Thanks Little Nell. I'm usually wary about writing 'news poems' - for a few reasons - but that experience last week was too compelling not to write about. Sad to think there have been similar crashes in Italy and Switzerland since then.

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