Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

The Man in the Black Hat


The man in the black hat sitting
Opposite me on the train is staring at me

I had seen him on the platform before
We boarded. He came rushing in as
If he were scared he would miss the

Train despite it having to wait a further
Twenty minutes. I had paid him no
Attention but carried on reading my

Newspaper. He caught the corner of
My eye despite my concentration on
The news of the day. He was clearly

Jittery. He had run in with his black
Coat flapping open and flowing
Behind him, wet from the morning

Rain. Now, sitting opposite me, he was
Still enough. But that stare continued.

I considered moving to the next carriage
But continued to study the stock prices
which were

Sullen at the news of the previous day.
I had hedged so I wasn’t worried. I
knew that others

In the office would be. Jittery. It wasn’t
Going to be a pleasant day. I folded up
My newspaper

And tucked it under my arm. How
Distressing the fellow’s still staring
I hadn’t noticed before but he had what

Looked like one of those doctor’s bag
Between his feet. Enough, I thought,
And got to my feet and stumbled

As I made my way to the adjacent
Carriage trying to avoid my fellow
Passengers’ feet. My god, the fellow’s

Behind me. I can feel his breath on
My neck. “Herr Stimmler?” he asks
In a guttural snarl. “No, no, you are

Mistaken,” I blurt out. I am out of
Breath and I almost choke on the
Words. “No, I don’t make a mistake

Like that,” he says vehemently. I
Feel a panic. I want to run but to
Where? The train jerks to a sudden

Stop. This is unscheduled. The train
Has never stopped at this station
Before. The fellow staggers forward

As I brace myself on a stanchion and
Step briskly aside. He falls to the floor.
The doors hiss open.

I dash out. There is something evil about
This man. The doors hiss shut. I see him,
Face against

The door glass. I hurtle outside And skid
On the wet pavement and stumble into a
Taxi. This

Is a small station. I didn’t think there
Would be any. I am gasping for breath.
“Where to?” the driver

Asks in that strange lisping speech
Of the Turkish who have learned the
Minimum of German. I blurt out the

Address of the office. The diesel engine
of  the Mercedes roars into life. I sit
Back in relief but still

Shaken. There was something really
Menacing about the man then I remember
Who he is.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 28, 2016


Filed under: poetry

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