about a moment in Wales


A Moment in Wales

In England I saw Parliament.
In Scotland Loch Ness.
In Dublin, St. Patrick’s Cathedral,
and in Wales a heart break.
I was only there for a total of three hours.
Passing through on my way to, and back, from where my ancestors and their leprechaun kin come from.
But I was there long enough to see an 11 second eternity.
When a train pulls up, you scramble on.
But when a train pulls up to a station that you can’t pronounce the name — in a country in which you have never been,
you cross your fingers and just jump,
as fast and as far as you can in the direction of the mechanical closing doors.

You barely notice the couple you bump into as you struggle with an overstuffed backpack,
so you don’t notice the way they don’t notice you.
You sit in a seat you hope is not reserved,
and realize the two have now been split by the glass of the train window
The man doesn’t move.

He stares.
He doesn’t sit.
He stands in the aisle and he stares,
and the woman on the other side smiles the smile women make to stop tears.
The man holds stands as still as his stare. 
She shuffles her feet and crosses her arms and lets a tear sneak through her smile,
break through her face's defenses.  
She must be strong,
not for her,
not for him,
but for them.
She lets it fall and looks behind her at nothing.
At anything but him.
The man holds his stare.
She looks back, and as the train’s engine starts, she starts mouthing words.

She is saying the same thing over and over, the words tumbling out of her mouth,
Her lips moving in the same silent prayer to stop her from touching the glass
She doesn’t bother wiping her eyes anymore, her feelings flowing onto her shirt.
The man sits without breaking his stare.
 I see what he says off the reflection of the glass that divides them.
“Don’t cry,
I love you,
you know that I love you,
it's all we ..."
and the train pulled away.
Of all the places that I have been,
and things that I have seen,
my favorite is still the human heart.

Copyright 2015 by Paul Curry