Train 232 from Copenhagen

headlights of train, train tracks at night
Darkening images fly past,
outside the softly vibrating glass.

There’s a draft from the window.
Bags stowed everywhere.
In the corner a girl,
Opposite, a woman reading
a newspaper.
“Ne pas se pencher au-dehors.”

A friendly man in brown,
the conductor asks for the tickets.

“Jeder hat ein Recht auf den Gepäckplatz über sein Sitzplatz!”

Through the coming night,
all over Europe —
hundreds of trains;
thousands of people —
going somewhere;
being taken someplace.

The wheels,
rolling on endless ribbons of steel,
sing out the names
of stations
the coaches once have passed —
Hamburg Hbf
Gare de Austerlitz

Enveloping darkness,
as the train rolls on,
at a hundred kilometers an hour,
all through the night
and into the day —
Copenhagen to Paris
in sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes.