Landscape: Benelux into Germany

            A city like Rotterdam

                              bombed, rebuilt

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.

               Tot ziens!

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s