long train

man but that train
just rolled on forever
clanking
lumbering
across the vastness
of India
“chai, chai, masala chai”
the cries of the hawkers
selling sweet tea
more like hot cola
no fizz
roasted pecans
in funnels of newspaper
I lost my bearings
and tried to recall
what life was like
before getting on
and heading East
one afternoon
a large family came
traditional Hindu
many generations
I played with the kids
did magic tricks
for everyone
we pointed out
interesting sights
through the bars
of the carriage
as we banged out
the interminable miles
and enjoyed
being pleasant
with each other
unencumbered
by conversation
only a few
shared words
the evening came
jolting
and lurching
towards the night
I hadn’t bought a berth
and started making
a nest
on the floor
two of the older boys
bunked together
so they could offer me
a bed
a gesture
that still moves me
the surprise
of kindness
the planet turned
under our wheels
my eyes leaked
with gratitude
that a home
could be found
anywhere

"H does a trick for an Indian boy"