Travelling homeward on a crowded train

I draft a crisp report of all I’ve seen

noting how many doors were locked, how many

patients drugged.  An introductory paragraph

describes the architecture and the park,

the long drive through the cordon sanitaire.

Nothing of how, briefcase in hand, I watched

one group gaze at the autumn, while a nurse

urged them to finish their abandoned jigsaw puzzle.


Being night, when I look up, on either side

of the railway coach twin images reveal

faces staring outwards staring in,

eyes carefully avoiding ghosts of eyes

through windows latticed by distorting rain.

First published in Snakeskin 253, August/September 2018