Poem Friday! (because I don’t dabble there enough)

In response to Billy Collins’s Love:

The boy at the far end of the train car

kept looking behind him

-Billy Collins

The girl with her large black case

in the unmistakable shape of a cello

watches the boy at the far end of the train

though she pretended not to.

She ignored him in that peculiar way,

eyes averted and feet planted due north,

though the tone in the air had shifted

and she felt his electric wave beneath her skin:

like when a hand holds another for the first time

and knows that it has just done something wonderful.

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Pre-Valentine’s Day Squalor

Love

The boy at the far end of the train car
kept looking behind him
as if he were afraid or expecting someone

and then she appeared in the glass door
of the forward car and he rose
and opened the door and let her in

and she entered the car carrying
a large black case
in the unmistakable shape of a cello.

She looked like an angel with a high forehead
and somber eyes and her hair
was tied up behind her neck with a black bow.

And because of all that,
he seemed a little awkward
in his happiness to see her,

whereas she was simply there,
perfectly existing as a creature
with a soft face who played the cello.

And the reason I am writing this
on the back of a manila envelope
now that they have left the train together

is to tell you that when she turned
to lift the large, delicate cello
onto the overhead rack,

I saw him looking up at her
and what she was doing
the way the eyes of saints are painted

when they are looking up at God
when he is doing something remarkable,
something that identifies him as God.

-Billy Collins