Midnight: Long Train Passing

Toi Derricotte

BPR 46 | 2019

The steady growl of it, not rattling
the windows, but continuous, like
white noise. I sit in a huge armchair,
hoping it will
go on forever; for,
when I was a child
awake and fearful, I’d hear the whistle
and rumble of a far-off train
and be comforted,
as if it were another person, another body,
and I was, suddenly,
inside it, its heartbeat
trembling through the wood. It seemed
to cover me, like the sheet
I’d pull over my head
so that nothing
could crawl in my ear.
It was a language
that carried me, so that
all the hours, days and years I
thought I was unworthy, I was not. Instead
there was another self I lived in, like a God
I prayed to by staying alive.