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