The Train and the Whale

by Genevieve Carver

In November 2020 a metro train that overran the stop blocks at a station
outside Rotterdam was saved from plummeting 10m into the water below
by a giant plastic sculpture of a whale’s tail.

THE TRAIN: It’s not what it looks like.

THE WHALE: Nor am I.

THE TRAIN: I’m stranded.

THE WHALE: You’ve suffered an uncoupling.

THE TRAIN: The yellow jackets are taking measurements.

THE WHALE: You should have been listening.

THE TRAIN: I couldn’t hear over the shrill blue noise of whalesong.

THE WHALE: You should have been watching for the signs.

THE TRAIN: They’ve taken a swab from the signal points.

THE WHALE: Did you notice the black-backed gulls overhead?

THE TRAIN: Splash me in oil and put me on a stretcher of steel.

THE WHALE: The ones now pecking out your eyes.

THE TRAIN: Release me into the diesel sea where I can swim free.

THE WHALE: You should spend a bit of time on you.

THE TRAIN: Under the water are you smirking through your baleen?

THE WHALE: Have a bubble bath. Put a favourite record on.

THE TRAIN: When are you coming up for air?

THE WHALE: For the nightmares, try a sleep app.

THE TRAIN: How much longer can you hold me?