Bruxelles Midi

Bruxelles Midi

A Poem by Joe Curtis

A poem about train stations, hellos and goodbyes.


Train stations are strange old places.
Full of yearning and yawning,

sobbing, and slowly sobering old men,
like a jazz club with the lights turned up.

Arriving trains’ doors open wide like a waiting embrace,
with the same aaaah you make
as the first sip of hot chocolate passes your lips,
or the sigh that leaves them as you slip
into a lover’s arms.

But Departures is a different story:
doors chew your luggage as latecomers struggle to their seats,
the announcer dismally declaiming that
‘It will be approximately fourteen hundred hours
to our final destination - the moon.’

At least, home seems so far.
A seat, a sandwich and a hot drink - we play to stall time.
But my stomach churns as the clock turns faster, and we stand
and walk, ever so slowly, to the correct gate.

Why are these walls so spotlessly white
when my heart lurches with every step?

Our hellos and goodbyes should be smeared across them,
like a messy modernist painting.

Instead the words I want to say are sucked away
by the whirring ventilation, and the aching silence left
relies on old clichés for punctuation:

‘I had a lovely time’, ‘Have a safe trip’ and, worst of all, ‘Take care’.

All contrive to stifle any real communication. 

And reduce our final farewell
to a moment of shared commiseration.

© 2013 Joe Curtis

My Review

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Nice and simple :) you've described them trains very well :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

Joe Curtis

8 Years Ago

Just read this out loud to myself and realised it's even better than I thought when I first saw it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Joe Curtis

8 Years Ago

Cheers man, tried to vary the pace with some rhymes, glad you noticed :)
very nyc

Posted 8 Years Ago

Joe Curtis

8 Years Ago

New York City? Ha, I'll take it! Thanks

8 Years Ago

my mistake :p very nice!!

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3 Reviews
Added on January 3, 2013
Last Updated on January 3, 2013
Tags: train, train station, farewell, brussels, long-distance, love, sadness, luggage, jazz, bruxelles midi, travel, greetings, lovers


Joe Curtis
Joe Curtis

London, United Kingdom

On Twitter at @JoeCurtis87 Writer based in east London. Will read anything I can get my hands on, and write lots of things but tend towards fantasy. In my spare time I am a pen pervert, cheese fiend .. more..