There is a Later Train
This isn't the last train. But the late train
has no quiet cars. If a baby squalls no conductor
shushes her. You must shush her yourself.
The late train has no dining car. So board
this train now, or pack a picnic, your own
tablecloth, napkins, napkin-rings, silver,
porcelain. The late train has no schedule.
Depends on how many girlfriends the brakeman
wants to visit, how fast each girlfriend
forgives him, how long each visit lasts.
This is the last express train. The late train
switches engines at each depot, refuels
at every coal yard, stops to grease axels
before each switch. Sometimes it just stops.
The conductor on the late train is corrupt
and will demand a bribe, a surcharge, a handling
fee, a remittance. Take extra coins and know
your suitcase will be ransacked for cash.
The late train is segregated. Uphill
rules: Bare heads in odd rows. Hatted
or scarved people in even rows.
Oldies left of aisle, youngsters
to the right. Women in window
seats. Men in aisle seats. Citizens
in the front of the car. Immigrants at the back.
Down-slope, it's all reversed. Hooligan
conductors will evict anyone
in the wrong spot. Not evict from seat,
evict from train. Is this train going to heaven?
Yes. Is the late train going to heaven?
Yes. It's simpler to say "All aboard.
This is the last train." The evangelists'
workbook has pictures of people stranded
on the platform. The word nuance does not appear
in the evangelists' workbook. I am writing a new
version of the book. It's much longer.
New chapters, footnotes, caveats, disclaimers,
counterclaims, exceptions, cross-references.
No absolutes. No strict dichotomies.
Still, you should get on the train.
Paul Jolly from Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs