Waiting for a train with Thelma Plum

Penrith Station sits broken
as a grieving heart in pieces
the platform the waystation for
essentially low-paid vital workers
in the dead-days of iso-lation

we have little time for each other
and envy those slumbering at home
flannelette pyjamas sleeping in
enjoying raisin toast and warm Milo
fucking the day to Netflix and Zoom

on Penrith Station we’re in mourning
except for the Girl In Black providing life
in black boots black jeans and hoodie
black/red/yellow flag on her back
golden head-phones about to pounce

she moves raises an arm
fist clenched – ‘Hey! … Hey!’ –
Fuck That


Read the rest of Poetry in Lockdown, edited by Toby Fitch and Melody Paloma

If you enjoyed this special edition, subscribe and receive a year’s worth of print issues, the online magazine, special editions and discounted entry to our literary competitions

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, Blood, The Promise and Ghost River. He is currently research fellow in the Moondani Balluk Academic Centre at Victoria University.

More by Tony Birch ›

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays