Check and balance

At the station, when a man
lost consciousness and fell face-
down on the moving escalator, a throng
gathered quickly at the base to pull
him to safety. A woman came through
the barrier, saying “I’m a doctor.”
The station manager activated the safety
switch and called for an ambulance.
A young man with a skateboard under
his arm rummaged in his backpack
for a gym towel to stanch the bleeding.
The emergency response team arrived
with a pallet and a gurney. All this
happened swiftly, with very few words
exchanged— only the movement of hands
and bodies wanting to save: strangers
lifting the stricken one, instead of
leaving him to possibly languish
in a pool of his own blood; there
in the middle of the city, on a grimy
platform that shuddered every now
and then as trains hurtled past.

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