Escaped Patients Killed By Train

I used to collect weird newspaper headlines and stories. One of them inspired the poem below.

“Escaped Patients Killed By Train”

was the headline
that would have everyone believe
in irony
as flesh:
hot-blooded and glamorous,
gorgeous and deadly,
and always poised perfectly
to strike.

But the story itself
says something else,
how the two women “had walked out of the mental health unit
unnoticed
even though the two-story facility was locked
and lay down in front of a
freight train that
struck and killed them.”

Irony in this case,
not hot-blooded at all,
but actually
a bit clammy
and somewhat annoyed
at having to crouch patiently
under bridges and wait
for victims.

The Train in this case,
entirely free
from any real guilt
just in the wrong place
at the wrong time—
yet to the women,
wholeheartedly right
on schedule.

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