A city like Rotterdam
The Nazis said
submit or we’ll bomb you into the ocean
The ‘Dammers submitted but got bombed anyway
What’s the point in that?
Now, taller buildings
Europe’s busiest port
A few coffeeshops tucked away.
In a café, cream of mushroom soup,
the best bread and a little butter
in view of the deal-making, sky-scraping
Pear trees. More than a pair — an orchard.
Phew. These clouds. The ones did Bruegel see.
Finally, he thinks, I get to use some lighter colors.
Sun burns off the gray clouds
that hung so close to th’orizon, as if shielding a secret.
A harvest not yet reaped,
A greenhouse. A sign for Mäes.
Unpack and walk the city.
Beer from a vending machine.
Nightfall in Belgium.
Not just me
but the whole city
meeting for a party on the pier,
urged on by 100 dee-jays.
ANKUNFT then ABFLUG
A train is made for getting away,
a bed for coming home to.
It was raining that morning we awoke in Antwerp,
the last morning.
And now, rows ahead,
a woman gives me German words for free.
Undistracted by busy tracks,
boys practice football
while their slightly bearded brothers
hang kord jackets from hooks over their seats
and tune up slide-show presentations
they could give in five fluent languages
leaving me entirely