“No one left and no one came on the bare platform.” No one was going anywhere. The trains and planes had stopped running a week ago. All ground transportation halted by order of the government. Gas stations were closed. Truckers off for two weeks. This was a complete stand still. Fourteen days to clear the virus out of the system. Only one more week to go. One more week to make the food last; for the hospitals to unlock.
Plans were already going up for the restart. The grocery stores would open first, pharmacies second. People in close proximity to these places are lucky as they can walk. Public transportation would resume on the third day. Gas stations would open for delivery trucks only. Hospitals open, followed by churches. By the end of ten days, people can drive a car again. Back to normal.
dVerse prompt for prose of 144 words using the sentence “No one left and no one came on the bare platform.” by Edward Thomas. Photo taken in Italy. This is a fantasy of how it could be if all transportation comes to a standstill including walking.
October 30, 2019, returning from Athens to NYC. My daughter and I had traveled together for two months without having any major disagreements. There was just one night in Dubai when I was verging on being a selfish, judgmental person; I got over it. At the outset of the trip, I said I wanted only three things— to go to Prayer Mountain in Ghana, to do a day trip to Morocco, and to visit Pompeii. I am easy to please most of the time.
I take it back. There was a moment on the train from the Athens airport to our hotel in the heart of Athens when I was so nervous about getting off at the correct station that two pickpockets targeted us. My daughter felt a hand in her bag and looked the thief in the eye. He bolted without her wallet. It was an elaborate scheme where one thief held the door from opening, while the other went for the cash. My lesson— stay alert, don’t become a victim.
Now that I am remembering— the other time my daughter got mad at me was at the Catania Airport when I turned into an “ugly American” and told off a group of Italians on the tarmac bus to move closer together so everyone could get on. I was shouting in English and nobody moved an inch.
trip of a lifetime
pray for Europe Africa
and all of the world
dVerse prompt to use a poem written about myself and write a haibun based on that poem. I used my poem Language written October 7, 2019, while I was on this trip and at one point, didn’t know where I was. Now I pray that someday I can return, especially to Ghana.
The tomb urn is big enough to hold a body. (It is another way to bury the dead in ancient Sicily. We see them in the archeological museum.) I am climbing over an adult-sized one trying not to break it. When I get to the top, the urn falls forward and moves down a small hill. It does not break so my relief is great. A girl comes to help me to move it upright and to set it in a new place. I know this dream is about death. How the burying of the dead has changed since the beginning. Now I can choose my burial in an ecopod much like the urns of Sicily. I will know the falling of the vessel that takes me away. That it is there ready to receive me.