Tube Fear

Having avoided the tube for nearly ten years,
it was time to cast away all my doubt and my fears.
I paced platform one trying to relax and chill,
only six stops from Putney Bridge to Notting Hill
“Nothing to worry about” I kept repeating again
“It’s just like a bus, or a coach or a train”.
4 minutes to go, I read on the display,
an announcement about services all being OK.
I pace up and down but try to remain calm
knowing full well I can come to no harm.

Then it comes, that rumble and the squeal of steel,
my stomach lurches and I start to feel ill,
my legs turn to jelly and my chest starts to tighten,
I gasp for air and my senses heighten,
“I’ve got to get out” I hear my mind say
but I make myself stay and I will it away.
The doors hiss open and I step inside the hell hole,
I sit down and I fight to stay under control,
I look around for some friendly faces,
a glance at the map for some familiar places
and as the train moves, I want to be outside,
a few seconds in and I haven’t even tried.
I don’t mind the stations, it’s the journey between
and I sigh a relief as we reach Parsons Green.
Just five more stops and then I’ll be there,
we leave the station and I feel the despair,
darkness looms and my nemesis is back,
I am now in the middle of a full PANIC ATTACK!
The anger inside, the terror, the dread
the adrenalin feeding the fear in my head
the confusion, the pain, the mental distress
I must suppress, I mustn’t obsess!!
I must find an exit, I must find a way out!
Away from this torture, away from this doubt!
I pray for a way away from this day,
then i see it.  My door out, Fulham Broadway.

And as I sit down on the bus, I look back and I think
“I failed” “I’m a loser” and my heart starts to sink.
Will I ever do this, or will I always be weak?
and these thoughts force a tear to roll down my cheek.
A young child looks back and catches my frown
her smile has the effect of simmering me down
And as I react by flashing a grin
I realise a strength that I have within
I will beat this, I know, and with this belief I have found
I’ll soon be back riding on the London Underground.

3 thoughts on “Tube Fear

  1. What amazes me is the incredibly descriptive language that brings alive something I neither understand or have ever experienced. This is a very clever poem in that respect and I can feel every sense from reading each line. This is even better than the last one!

  2. I think that you are a long way towards combating this fear, by the fact that you are able to express so precisely your feelings of panic in your enlightening, clever piece of prose.

  3. If you stayed to the next stop West Brompton you would have been outside again…but only until the next stop Earls Court…..bit by bit though…day by day…slowly slowly catchy monkey.

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