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Trainmate Jack This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

This is a poem to my trainmate Jack
whom I met on a cloudy Wednesday
as I stepped on the crowded train.
Collapsing in the first vacant seat,
I smiled at the stranger next to me.
I carried fatigue and luggage,
dreading the six-hour ride.
You offered me potato chips
and conversation with hopeful eyes.
Told me of regrets and wishes –
wondering how eighty years slipped by
so quickly
and the next you knew
you had lost a wife and son.
Asked me with a wide grin to marry you
and travel the world by your side.
“Be happy you’re eighteen,” you said,
“Live every day to its fullest.”
The ride ended, we stepped off
and into the station,
looking to others like a girl and her grandfather,
but we were friends.
Through the door we could see
the hurried pace of the city,
people rushing to speed up their lives.
We stood together,
side by side.
Two people traveling alone for the first time.
A wave good-bye and a promise
to remember your advice,
to take in each day
as it comes.
So I write this poem
in thanks and hope to you, my trainmate Jack.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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