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