catrail

A week of leaving (part 3)

Slow down long enough to notice

that the cat crossing the railway line

is not black but the deepest hue of brown

flecked with the lighter rust of sleepers.

As you’re there anyway, why not board a train …

make it an older model, one that travels inland

and takes 9 minutes longer, stopping at every

station from Dorog to Budapest.

Commiserate with its rattles and creaks.

Each time the brakes engage, hear the rumble

of an ancient wildebeest.

Absorb the changing scenery from

the Suzuki plant to men in braces with chickens.

The passengers will have their own particulars –

take note, but not unkindly: a sad stain on the back

of an otherwise immaculate pale pink coat,

soft eyes and harsh cough emanating

from a thin black hoodie, electric blue baubles swinging

from earlobes like mini disco balls, taking you back …

When you plunge without warning into 20 seconds

of pitch black realise everyone is exposed

in the mild mobile phone lit shock of it.

When you finally alight, eat goulash in a restaurant

where a man is playing the violin for the love of it.

Allow your mind to wander to community gardens

on bridges linking hotels for the homeless.

If you miss your return train do it because the man

on the street holding out the empty

polystyrene cup was finally just one too many.

manchook

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