Literati! Ze train! Ze train! Pulling out of the station, running from something I think. R. Choochoo leaves it to you… what’s the call?
HOW WILL YOU REMEMBER?
By R. Choo-choo
A thick train window separates you from rows
of grey olive trees squatting in a blur of groves.
It is not hard imagining their branches
prodded by the wind waving you goodbye
Or the afternoon downpour stabbing
sideways against the glass ––
an inconsolable rain weeping for what is lost,
or how the farmers in the fields of Fiorenza
bend like burlap sacks half-empty of feed,
how they conceal their sad faces
in the coarse masking shadows of trees,
or how that train stealing you away
pretends it cannot hear or cares not at all
about painful separations
or the whimpering of small human hearts.
Santina, you are going away.
Inside the compartment you sit by the window,
fragile, swallowed whole into the steel
belly of a beast, abducted from your stone house,
empty now beside the cobbled street.
Your parting words like the fragrance of you
will linger forever in lonely rooms.
You are going away. In this Tuscan village
there are no surprises that come with the dawn.
The same sun sparks the day; the same moon and stars
crowd the night sky, but you, hungry for change,
insist you will not die without first tasting Milano
where you will vanish from my sight.
Free of small-town constraints, set free in the big
city, vulnerable to street-wise distractions,
how will you remember
our two hearts once beating in perfect time?
Or how once in happier days
God’s face bearded with white clouds
smiled down on us from the sky of this
now grieving village?