Gulf War: a poem

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GULF WAR

It was the morning 5.44 if I do recall,

All were trying to sleep for the long haul,

The train rocking gently from side to side,

Like a lilting lullaby to cope with the ride.

 

The train was the domain of the old male,

Relic body odour making it smell stale,

The odd lady amongst the testosterone,

Fragrant roses improved the dank tone.

 

The men divided by how they did dress,

It was plain to see, no chance to digress,

Some donned bright fluro seen from a mile,

The rest were decked out in business attire.

 

This chasm cut deep into the land’s history,

Blue collar versus white was the big story,

What these two did for work had to be noted,

As it even decided how each of them voted!

 

Blue singlets now replaced by high vis vests

For tradesmen with tough hands and strong chests,

Yellow and orange the garb of these herculeans,

They stood out in the train like bright beacons.

 

This the quiet carriage, no noise could be made,

Sound violation and death stares would be paid,

And patrons wanted the same seats, own spaces,

A pecking order of sorts, they knew their places.

 

The scene now set for the conflict that ensued,

Let’s get on with the story without further ado,

We must keep this train poem on the right track,

It was starting to wander, to take another tack.

 

On the right of the aisle sat the tradie in yellow,

Unshaven, he looked like a gruff kind of fellow,

Squat build, middle-aged, tattoos on his forearms,

Callouses could be seen on the both of his palms.

 

On the left of the aisle sat the professional man,

Slim build, bespectacled, with a slight ruddy tan,

He was typing big words, jargon like ‘resultant’,

Might be a banker, lawyer … or even a consultant!

 

The tradie he had a cooling box called an esky,

Emblazoned in our flag it was not very sexy,

To all wishing to alight it was a stumbling block,

As it sat part way in the aisle like a massive rock.

 

Now on the day in question the tradie was snoring,

Sounding like a lion on the plain that was roaring,

In the quiet carriage this noise it was most foreign,

To many awoken you could say it was abhorrent.

 

It must have been a day the consultant was uptight,

An intense look like he had been given a big fright,

Turning to the tradie, he glowered and nudged him,

Would the tradie accept he had committed a big sin?

 

The tradie he stirred and glanced across the void,

Upset by the awakening he seemed to be buoyed,

“Can’t a bloke get his sleep, is that too much to ask?

If you ever do it again, be sure I’ll break your arse.”

 

The consultant ignored the rant, he’d made his mark,

He went back to his typing oblivious of the nark,

But for every day as he alighted from his ride,

He felt the esky of the tradie bump on his side.

 

Next day, the esky upturned, contents in the aisle,

The tradie fuming, face red, looking very vile,

Then he yelled, “For that mate you’re going down!”

All the patrons shocked said “Please quieten down.”

 

The consultant responded saying “It wasn’t me,”

The tradie retorted with “Who else could it be?”

“I’ve got to get off the train now,” he went on,

“Better not be here tomorrow or you’re gone!”

 

Would the consultant return? It had to be seen,

The tradie looking around, appearing real mean,

No consultant, no one this day sitting in his seat,

The void was there, and I cheerfully took his seat.

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