Dead Man’s Handle

It was supposed to protect them.

Depressed, every sixty seconds on that long, long line.
A firm push, a clunk, timer re set;
Every sixty seconds:
Push. Clunk. Tick.

But he fell asleep at the wheel –
(So to speak; there’s no wheel on a train,
Except underneath)
Fell asleep and fell forwards.

The handle was supposed to protect them
But he fell, head first.
And as the train rocked and rolled along the bumpy track
The handle imprinted itself into his forehead.

The head on his lifeless body gently rose and fell.
Push. Clunk. Tick.
Every sixty seconds.
Until they careered through the buffers

And into a graveyard.