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A ten-minute halt.
Through the window
a flight of steps
leading down to the platform.

Nobody on it.

Not an emperor
with his cortege
leading a triumphal procession.

Not a train of camels
carrying spices
stepping down delicately
with their precious load.

No brass band.

Not a ball, bouncing,
or a pram
like in that film.

The steps remain resolutely empty.

Not even a bloody passenger.

As we pull out
the steps and I exchange glances.

Oh, well,
some days are like that . . .

Only the steps
have a funny look in their eye.
Do I hear,
for a moment,
a thundering
like a herd of wildebeeste
approaching from Platform 3?

Probably not.