JUBILEE LINE

Stratford

I sat down beside a girl with a white hijab

I smiled, she smiled back

Everyone on their phone

You said

No-one talks

I know, it’s London, no-one talks

Eyes down glazed, entranced by the screen

The odd glance as the station approaches

West Ham

Our eyes met

Your eyes danced dark and lively

I always talk I have to talk

You said and told me your story

(So much pain behind the dancing eyes

Arranged marriage

Domestic abuse

On the run from husband father mother-in-law

Beaten

Canning Town

I was in a bad situation

You said

I still suffer

I live in a refuge now

I can’t go back

Not even to my family

But I am strong

I want to be free

I want a kind man

Are English men kind?

We talked a lot

Her life in a northern city

So boring you said after your native Marrakesh

Racism

Just because I wear this

So young and pretty in your white hijab

London Bridge

My stop is next

Where are you going?

Westminster I think-to walk, explore

Then back North to the refuge

I will be free one day

Waterloo

This is my stop

Thank for talking

You said

Thank you for your smile

I said

You have a beautiful smile

Stay safe

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