Saturday, December 3, 2011

Man with Baby Carriage

Getting on the train, his baby carriage blocks
the door so people must shove past
or find another way in. He takes up
space with his pram loaded with a small TV
and is hardened to derision or disdain
in the eyes. Worse is the plain
hardness and indifference he's shown.

Dressed in black knit cap, black coat, his frown
is the deepest etched mouth I've ever seen.
Like a painted clown, yet there's no paint,
and the impression’s painful
since his sadness goes unnoticed.
On the trains, don’t dwell on particulars,
since you'll lose your place in line
or miss your stop. Hide behind indifference.

Lose yourself in plain view,
like the man with the carriage,
there but not there; harmless, threatening
by absence or by presence. The drama
of despair hides behind
the trite and everyday. Questions
gnaw the back of the brain
as you wonder if the carriage
is for a child, or one abandoned
to make room for the TV.

(c) 2011 copyright Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.


  1. Goosebumps. The way disturbing truths give them to us. I did not enjoy it, Charles. Which is to say, "well done".

  2. Hi Charles, loved this poem, I'm often reading on your blog. I also wanted to pass you a quick note regarding my absence from Twitter. I am taking a small break to focus on writing and hope to return. I will check back with your blog often. Stay in touch at

  3. A baby carriage meant once for the fragile innocent baby, that surely this man was once...and now a tragic human being with his meaningless life and a TV setababied in the carriage...invisible, and yet very much there reminding us of our own vulnerability, and our indifference to tragedy. I salute you Chaz, for this beautiful poem. Set my teeth on edge. Bravo!

  4. you're a good observer.. did i say this before..? smiles..probably did... love the details.. and you're going from outside to inside..and make us see the man - and not only him - and not only physically..

  5. very nicely done....

  6. You truly captured every little inkling of the moment, wonderfully done!

  7. I can really see the moment through your words! I can't help but wonder though, if the TV was put there to fill the void of someone he didn't want to leave behind.

  8. a haunting portrait, sad and honest and powerful.