Robert Brown

The Train Ride after a Long Flight, Norway


Mountains and rocks
appear and disappear—
appearing and disappearing—

through the broken slats 
of a train tunnel
between Oslo

and Bergen. A glimpse
of orange sunlight 
on September snow,

Ansel Adams aspens.
After 30 hours of flights,
layovers, and airport food 

Laura tries and fails—
trying and failing—
to capture each image

on her cell phone:
A rooftop covered 
in weeds and a patch 

of wildflowers,
a waterfall carved out 
of an old avalanche.

Too much to take in,
even taken one-by-one
through the gaps in the slats.

A hermit who emerged
from a forest like this
after 25 years alone

said he couldn't look 
anyone in the face.
He preferred focusing

his gaze on a spot 
just over the shoulder.
"The face," he said, 

"has too much data.
You ever notice that?
I can't take it all in."

Laura drops her phone 
and hisses, "I hate these tunnels!"
"I hate them,"

and she inflates her neck pillow
to get her first sleep in 36 hours.
I haven't seen this glimpse

of her before. Not in 7 years
of marriage. I take this rare
view and add it to a list of wonders 

I never imagined before.



Robert Brown has never been a hobo, but he knows how to cook dinner in a tin can over a fire. He regrets not riding the rails and cutting people for looking at him askew.


1 comment:

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