It’s the same train.
Changing carriages hasn’t altered that.
But now the impenetrable darkness of tunnels
is neutralised by a hand reached for secretly
and the knowledge of the imminent re-emergence
of familiar faces in the light.
It is possible to disembark at the station of your choice
or, in an emergency, pull the cord
and trudge off into unmarked territory,
ignoring the shaking fists of railway staff.
But no; for the time being
familiarity is more potent than adventure.
It is still permitted to re-trace your steps
and peer into carriages where you once sat.
In some your space may even still be vacant,
amongst those who are, and will remain, unmoved.
In others your seat is now occupied and
despite the comforting smiles of those you know,
it will remain that way.
you must return to your new-chosen cubicle,
to weather report conversations,
to standard gauge concepts
and to waiting patiently
for the dawn
of the courage to get off.