Just waiting

Under a shelter
By the commuter train station
In the middle of town
They stand like gulls at the shore

Newspapers, cell phones,
Cups of coffee
Keeping them company

The journey is full of uncertainty
Even now
But they have memorized its markers
And project calm
To the others who wait

They know the train will be here
They know with some certainty
When it will arrive
Even how many cars it will have
But they still peer anxiously up the tracks
Toward its point of origin

They gather in clusters,
Spaced in precise intervals:
They have memorized where
The doors are
When the train
Cries to a halt

Then they are gone
And their papers
And cups of coffee
And their thought balloons go with them

(Except for a few sheets of newsprint
Sucked down the tracks
Cups that pivot and pirouette
Toward the vortex
Tempted by the departure of energy)

And under the shelter
A new cluster begins to grow
And being uncertain
About when
The next thing happens

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