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.