Travelling Coach

Every window of the train was a quarter of the way down
because they do not go any further in coach.
The empty seats, ripped, covered in avocado vinyl.

On a train to Mexico City with my brother, our nanny and her daughter
they do not speak English or at least pretend not to
In order to ignore our whims.

Four of us in one car each of us in an aisle of our own,
except for the nanny and her daughter they sat together.

My brother and I wave frantically to our mother
from the inside windows of the train.
She was not looking, got in her car and drove away.

The train started to move but it did not cool the car in coach.
With no air conditioning the wind entering the moving train
splinters our skin.

A fiver between my brother and I, we agree to go to first class
and see what we can purchase.

First class is packed.
The air so cool no one seems to notice anyone else.
Shooed out after paying for two coca-colas
hot air flattens them in seconds.

Another game of eye-spy with my little eye.
Six years older than my brother I easily anticipate what he spies
but pretend not to.

The nanny and her daughter did not bring any water,
they did not need any.
My brother and I unable to speak,
not used to no air conditioning.

Flat lands of light brown, antagonizing plant life, limp white clouds, sun-burnt skies blur by.
The conductor walks into our car, looks briefly at my brother and I.
He says something in Spanish to our nanny and her daughter, they all laugh, he checks all our tickets,
quickly leaves the hot car.

The nanny and her daughter give us tuna sandwiches.
Mayonnaise soured in the heat, we ate them anyway.
Immediately sick
we puke in our aisles, permeating the car.

To avoid getting covered in puke
my brother and I move to the back of the car and share an aisle.

The nanny and her daughter rapidly talk,
our stomachs gurgle so loudly the nanny and her daughter stop talking,
they simultaneously look at us.

My brother abnormally quiet turns to me and asks,
‘What will we do when we grow up?’
‘We will hike the hills until we find our perfect adventure,’ I say, knowing he loves when I am silly.
‘Can I go as Batman?’ he asks hopeful.
‘Yeah, you can be whoever you want,’ I say.

– L.J. Lenehan –

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