Anyone could have said go and then
dumped the words behind the train station.
All kinds of buzzings and clickings
emerged from those grasses.
I was walking out among the thistles,
calling crows and singing their songs
and none of my own, nothing for bread
but for company only, even illusion.
I followed her because she said she knew the way,
something I didn’t know nor could I read the words.
The script made no sense. Meanwhile
vacant-faced men appeared from behind the boxcars
carrying overcoats and tattered luggage.
We were looking for the road
not knowing it had been buried, replaced by track.
Men appeared with plastic bags full of pajamas
and rolling suitcases. They wore small caps
and smiled through mouthfuls of gold.
I was less shy now and able to speak though
not in the incomprehensible language.
She kept turning to me from behind her kerchief,
her smile misplaced like someone who
might have known the way and yet continued to lead us astray.
This was the wrong field, tattered with summer daisies.
Nellie Hill’s work has appeared in a variety of magazines and literary journals. She has published two books, and her fourth chapbook, Winter Horse, is being published this month.
Tweets by @commonwealmag