Near Antwerp

At Mortsel-Oude God station
the round white face of a clock
declares the hour. Its second hand
revolves as though searching
for something, like the sweeping beam
on a radar screen. The trees
must think it’s some kind of strange
mollusk winding its way slowly,
infinitely slowly, back into itself,
spiral by spiral through a narrowing
set of rooms. There are no people
around. Nothing has happened
since 1943. The trees turn
toward each other, silent and appraising.
Death still squats over Belgium,
a blank sky herding umbrellas
into the street, interminable rain.
When history returns, it’ll be more of the same:
negotiations, betrayal, murder.
Why pay any attention at all
whisper the trees. They turn
their backs, they can’t be bothered.

Printed from Cerise Press:

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