It had been a tiring day that day. She sat down
staring with eyes that gazed unseeingly
at people, vacant stares everywhere;
from swaying people in long stuffy
carriages that rocked and shook around each corner
snaking sinuously along the dark
defenceless passages of Under London.
But then she noticed sitting opposite
the tall man with the studious face,
the grey eyes thoughtful and the bearded chin;
the sort of face she'd always liked.
He's just been where she'd been- there in his his hand
the bag with goodies from the Library,
full of the books he'd bought.
He'd been where she had been.
'Train is delayed' announced the disembodied
voice from nowhere and their eyes met
in humourous exchange, defences slipping,
conventions for a moment put aside
in shared dismay. Like old friends
they talked as if just yesterday they'd met
and many yesterdays before.
As if it had been yesterday they were together.
The train jolted itself awake and rumbled on
and still they talked of books and libraries and reading
research, writing, all the joys of life,
into the next station where startled, suddenly
aware, he rose and left the train.
'My name is Matthew Green,' he said just as he left.
She almost stretched her arms out after him.
Like Eurydice, longing for her Orpheus, she grieving
slipped back into the Underworld.
Just thus the stranger disappeared from her life
whose name was Matthew Green.