Post-weekend Poetry 004: ‘The Lady on the Train’ by Ruth Holroyd

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the fourth poem in this new series. This week’s piece is entitled ‘The Lady on the Train’ by Ruth Holroyd.

Dear ‘Lady on the train’
I do hope we meet again
I have read your little letter
Did it make you feel better?

Why didn’t you stop and chat?
Now what do you say to that?
I bet your cunning little plan
Hinged on me NOT getting off at Amersham!

When writing such a missive
Thrust over so dismissive
Did you carefully consider
As you reached over to deliver?

How easy it would be to just
Get up, and on passing, thrust
Your carefully folded advice
Then dash off in a trice

So brave then you to carry on
To follow through and when you’d gone
To think of how your words sunk home
As I read your little tome

Now really I should thank you
Because if it wasn’t for you who
Flipped her lid and rashly wrote
A quite hilariously misguided quote

I would never have had so much fun
Scanning your note and when I’m done
Posting it on Facebook and Twitter
I hope you’re not at all bitter

You seem to be quite sad
Lonely and a little bit mad
All my friends found it amusing
Is it marbles you are losing?

Next time you catch the four thirty
Claim a good seat – then I arrive!
I do have some cunning little tips
To avoid writing more vicious quips…

Shall I tell you what I would have done
If such a wino had staggered on
Stinking like a brewery in the afternoon
Simply excused myself and gone!

To a different carriage, another seat
No weirdos there to meet
With an altogether better clientele
A nicer view, a sweeter smell

So here’s to you!
I’ll raise a glass (or two)
To the ‘Lady on the train’
<slurs>I think I might be drunk again…

I asked Ruth what prompted this piece and she said…

The inspiration behind this poem came from a real event. A woman actually gave me the letter here when we got off the train.

I could tell she was annoyed that I was speaking to a friend, you know you can sense these things, but I never imagined anyone could be driven to such lengths by anger!

Initially it upset me, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  What an odd thing to do.  Happily I managed to see the funny side and the poem sprung up from there.

I’m really interested in the consequences of actions, things said and done in the heat of the moment. We might not fully understand what is going in someone else’s life and what awful things  our thoughtless actions or comments might lead to.

Thank you so much Ruth, I loved that, especially having commuted to (secondary) school from Amersham to Chalfont & Latimer (and back, obviously) for years. 🙂

Ruth works as a freelance copywriter and marketing communications professional in Buckinghamshire.  She writes company case studies and copy edits brochures and websites.  She also writes regular articles and features about living with allergies and food intolerances. Her allergy blog,, was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs in the UK in 2011 and she is one of the guest judges at the Free From Food Awards 2012.  You can read some more of her writing here.

If you’d like to submit your poem (c.40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist Carole Eglash Kosoff – the two hundred and forty-fouth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords.

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