Where journeys begin and end

By Vita Forest

 

This morning at the oval

I walked by lanky legged men in white flannels

Standing about on the grass

And a woman pushing a pram around the white picket perimeter

And a troupe of elderly Chinese

Limbering up

Following the leader in two lines

Dancing to the tune of a small tinny speaker

While their handbags and shopping hung on the fence

On hooks they had brought

especially for that purpose

And as I passed the playground

I noticed the gates were topped with a pair of

Smiling crocodiles

Beaming down at the squealing children

 

And as I stood on one leg in the yoga class

trying to keep my balance

While trains thundered beneath us

The teacher boasted how when tested

The results said she must be a mere girl of twenty

 

While later on the train

A mere girl of twenty

Addressed the whole carriage with her tale of

Domestic violence, pregnancy and homelessness

And I emptied my pockets into her open hand

And thought that in another life

She could be a great orator

And I hope that life is yet to come

 

And at Central I sat on an empty railway platform

and drew the trains

as the wires above me

drew their own squiggles against the clouds

And later we met under the archway of rainbow balloons

Heralding Mardi Gras

Like the rainbow flags that draped shoulders and the rainbow socks

on rainbow legs and rainbow hats and rainbow cat ears

resting over pink hair and glitter eye lashes

Or perhaps just over a t-shirt reading

Fearless

 

We met beneath the rainbow

to see the world through others’ eyes

Through their palettes and pens and pencils

That they used

Hunched behind a cup of tea

Or standing in front of a statue

Or a stain-glass window

Or beneath the curved roof over the place

Where journeys begin and end

 

And in the end

Who’s to really know?

If the train was really there

If the door was really open

If he really held her hand

But it looks real enough for now.

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