Whenever sunlight touches
the snow, things change, shadows
of trees fall into my memory

like that time we both sat wondering
whether to touch would be sinful
or something we might regret later,

too much of a sharing of intimacy,
like that lady on the train
who couldn’t find the w.c.

but was saved by the hand of a stranger
who guessed her plight, touched
her sleeve and pointed the way,

like that but the snow was worse
and the engine older,
a coal-burning black locomotive

on a run to Warsaw
and we were a couple of kids
watching out the window

at the communist countryside,
deserted stations disfigured by drifts
that knew no bounds, didn’t know

where to stop, couldn’t anyway,
and all of this locked in my brain now
and yours, too, I guess, wherever you go

I go, like sunlight,
like shadows of trees,
these things never change.

 

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