This was written in Scotland – I used to catch the first train from Huntly to Dyce at the time, it was around 6 a.m. and there was a light dusting of snow on everything. Between Insch and Dyce the train overpasses the road – this is the place where just at first light that morning a man stepped out in front of the train. I heard what I’ve described in the last verses of the poem – I never did see that river of red with my own eyes, I saw it in the ashen face and eyes of the train conductor. It was a long time before I got to work that day, traumatized…… I worked the rest of the day – on my way home in the evening, all that night and the following morning there was a tapping in my head. Just a light tapping trying to gain my attention, I felt uneasy – there was something I had to do……. by the end of the day after the suicide I’d written the poem below. The tapping stopped – I’d done what I was asked to, my feeling of unease ceased. I don’t know who this person was, all I heard was that it was a young man – the words of the poem came to me from another place. A couple of years later a work colleague read the poem and said that it’s giving that man his dignity, my thought is that it’s giving him the understanding and empathy that he probably didn’t feel while he was alive – may he find peace.
Hollow eyes – once burned so bright,
in the middle of the night.
Alone and feral, empty of light
full of anger and lonely fright.
Victim and predator,
stalking the night.
The choices narrowed,
doors and windows slammed shut.
Nowhere to turn,
no strength left to fight.
Monsters and fiends invading dreams,
ruling both the day and night.
Striking at self a final blow,
touching others caught in the flow.
For the eyes that are no longer
Shiny and bright.
What great event shall,
the passing incite?
As the train emerges into light,
So life speeds into endless night.
The thud of impact,
shook the dawn.
The clank of bone,
on steel and stone.
A still river of red,
marked my passing into the realm of dead.
© 2012, 2017 Lusha Hood, all rights reserved.