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At the Station

Katie Ineich, 2010

On the train from Chicago to South Bend
Two old friends,
a blonde and a brunette sit down.
They’ve been shopping and the one
by the window tries on her new knit hat,
checks her reflection.

Fix your bangs, her friend tells her,
brushing her hair aside,
you look like a square.

A gaggle of ladies, grandmas really
parade down the aisle.
There are six or seven or eight of them
each laden with bright red shopping bags.
They take their time finding seats,
making sure they can all sit together
and their bags crinkle and crease
as they settle in for the ride.

One of the grandmas,
a lady with peach colored curls,
deep wrinkles and thick glasses rises

Who wants to see my new jacket?
she asks her friends, and the occupants
of the car crane their necks.

She pulls the noisy plastic up around
the hanger in her hand, and she fans
the bottom of her crisp, new
black and white houndstooth coat.
Her companions Oo and ah their approval.

Looks like you ladies have been shopping!
the women in front of me call out.

Oh yes, we went to Macy’s!
the ladies beam

You should give us a fashion show!
but the ladies blush as one.

A dark haired woman
across the aisle closes her magazine
slides her glasses down
from the top of her head
to the bridge of her nose,
waits to see what will happen next.

A small lady with snowy hair
delves into her own shopping bag

Let me show you this lovely purple blouse!
Marge, Rose and I all got one.

She slowly pulls her prize from her bag
and the delicate fabric ripples from her fingertips.

Gorgeous! the women
exclaim together.

And what did you ladies get?
Rose notices their red handled bags.

I got three bras for two hundred and forty dollars!
the blonde announces proudly.

My stars! Rose gasps.
and the train lurches forward
whirling her into her seat.
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All Information Copywright by Chimes Publication, Saint Mary's College 2010