Thursday, January 27, 2005


I wrote two poems about the Metro Disaster today. Poets have always dealt with life shattering events. It is part of what we do. It was a tragedy, and writing about it is a way to make sure we never forget the lessons to be learned.


Every day thousands of people choose to take the train
And on this day one man named Juan decides to commit suicide
He was depressed and tired of feeling like a victim
He was fraught with anxiety and mentally twisted
Somewhere down the road his life had jumped the track
The voices inside his head wouldn’t stop screaming

Every time he saw his wife they’d end up screaming
He even told his friend he would drive down to the train
And that he would park his SUV on the tracks
For weeks all he could think about was suicide
He devised a plan in his head that was definitely twisted
A way to punish everyone that made him feel like a victim

What he hadn’t visualized were all the innocent victims
Or that three trains would collide and all the awful screaming
And the chewed up train cars and glass and bodies would be twisted
Did he think about all those passengers on the trains?
He couldn’t even follow through with his own suicide
He got out of his car at the last minute when it was stuck on the tracks

And with his own eyes he saw the flames as they twisted
Around the crashing train cars on the buckled up track
Passersby ran to rescue people off of the burning train
Rescue crews ran past the injured looking for the more severe victims
Listening in the dark for sounds of life melting away in all the screaming
No one on those trains agreed to participate in Juan’s suicide

His orange car was so obliterated and twisted
Viewers couldn’t even see where it was on the track
It was lost somewhere under that first rushing train
“We went from 60 miles per hour to zero in 2 seconds,” said a victim
The lights flickered and went out inside the train and next thing there was screaming
Did Juan imagine thousands of people being involved in his attempted suicide?

Was he hoping to get the death penalty as a legal form of suicide?
Who can understand the rationale of someone so obviously twisted
Now it is the families of the injured and dying and dead that will be screaming
So many who have suffered greatly and somehow gotten onto the wrong track
All of us have to work each day to encourage each other so there are no more victims
Of all the things we have to learn, it is our own minds that we have to train

How many people do we know that are always screaming about suicide?
We need to train ourselves and not let our thoughts become so twisted
That we get off track and by our actions create more victims

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