13 Stops

I’ve been working on this piece for many months now. The idea for this post began with a train ride to visit a friend on the upper west side, actually I was meeting him at the Museum of Natural History. I remember getting on the train at the subway station nearest me on Clark Street in Brooklyn. It was a long ride – 13 stops – until I reached my destination. I took the video snippets on my phone sitting in the same seat for the duration of the trip. Later, I added photos to the video to support the story as it unfolded. At first, I envisioned 13 stops as a non-emotional visual of what it’s like to ride on a subway in NYC, it was simply a fun, creative experiment to pass the time on the train. But it changed. Soon to be leaving NYC to return to my family in Dallas, the poem took another form from what I had originally intended and became more of a reflection on love – love lost, delayed or threatened by the obstacles of life – in this case, metaphorically represented by the signs in the subway. I would be leaving the city and the people that I loved deeply. I wanted to share an idea of love lost to the basic entrapments we deal with every day.  Come along with me and imagine the story of the man and the woman on the train… their love desperately trying to outrun and overcome their realities.

Watch the video then read the poem, then watch the video again….




13 Stops

13 stops took a toll from us each time

We moved in and out but never crossed the line

Unawarely preoccupied with too many signs

1    do not lean

2    do not hold

3    it’s the gap you should mind

Unattached as we thought

Our words were blurred and our time got crossed

Despite the rules it was love that we sought

But still…

4    wait for the priorities

5    and please don’t enter this space

6    don’t cross my track

7    no no no, you’ll be gone without a trace

8    there’s no exit from here

9    so please watch your back

And that’s how it was, it was all just like that

Signs to keep you safe, keep you out, keep you in

Signs for where you’re going, where you are and where you’ve been

But rules are rules, they broke us, they win

10 – NO smoking, no trashing, just walk

11 – no music from a box

            ……[it’s forbidden]

12 – Aaaaand STOP!….  like your love

13 – this train has ended



On leaving NYC Fall 2018 ~ © Sandy Hibbard 2019

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