Rain fell gently on that Melbourne morning,

the morning, I took my seat on the bus to leave.

It’s funny I can’t recall where the journey started.

I left my flat, empty of my life,

left the terror of someone,

banging on my door in the early morning

threatening my life, I do remember that.


Some unknown stranger at the wrong address

or was he? How would I know? Those pictures in the foyer, warning

of the masked man, a predator of women

targeting those who lived on their own.

I didn’t ring the police that night, can’t imagine why I didn’t

I think about that, the stupidity.


Still I don’t remember leaving on that grey Melbourne morning,

I don’t even remember the bus depot,

or the taxi ride to get there.

All I recall is the seat by the window,

the rain falling over crossroads near Victoria Market

and a smile

from a stranger in the tram opposite.


It was one of those movie moments,

eyes meeting across distances,

an intersection, traffic lights like worm holes wriggling across the tarmac

I should have entered that other dimension

right there and then

but I sat there waiting for the lights to change,

smiling at the stranger across the way


“Get off the bus,” an inner voice said. Mine?

“Get off now.” It was persistent, and as the tram passed on by, he waved.

“Last chance, get off!”

I think about that voice now and what may have happened.


In the movies he would have disembarked the tram, waited just outside the markets

I would meet him and we would share a coffee, a smile, a laugh

he could have been the one

of course the danger of strangers was overwhelming

I stayed seated.


That smile, that moment, has never left me

the strength of that voice “get off!”

and the life that may have transpired

as my material possessions rattled on to the outback

leaving the free spirit behind to chance her luck

I would have liked her


she played it safe instead.



For dversepoets


13 thoughts on “Crossroads

  1. huh interesting…a missed opportunity…its easy to romanticize those, but you never know how it would have turned out you know…i still like the romanticized version though…smiles…but for some reason you chose different…playing it saf, maybe…esp in light of the early bit there on the terror and predator…kinda frames it up for me…

  2. Oh I do like this… the wistful melancholic nostalgia… eyes met in passing… I too met eyes in passing… something passed between us but I hesitated and lost sight of him on a crowded Sydney street.

    I thought you may enjoy my new blog
    a day by day travel journal of my recent road trip through the wilds of far north Queensland, I’m up to Part 6 Day 7 adding one day of my trip every day

  3. oh wow…what a story… it takes much to leave that safe seat and step into an uncertain world by just a glimpse across traffic light…wonder how the story had continued but then…with that other story in the background, think i would’ve stayed in the bus as well

  4. Beautiful write! This is so vivid, and it moves along at a perfect pace, telling the story and thoughts in with perfect timing. It does seem like a scene from a movie, bu then, I’ve experienced things similar, and believe this is a real situation. If not, you have slipped into that other dimension and written of it very well! BUT! Having read so much Stephen King, I wonder if the person waving was the predator!

    • It was a real situation. The man banging at my door threatening me in the early hours. I’d only just got in from work. It was terrifying at the time. A few months later I left that flat, and had the nice smiley moment. Still you could be right he may not have been as nice as his smile! 🙂

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