A young woman I didn’t know
got on the nearly empty morning train.
Strangers sit apart. She sat
just opposite, crossed her legs and said
‘That’s me’. I looked her over,
as young men do. We talked a little,
laughed a little. Already
there was no choice.
I found her
in the student library. We talked
about Eng Lit, especially our much admired
new friend John Donne. Chaucer we didn’t like.
As young men do, I asked her
to the pictures. Or lunch tomorrow
at the Papingo? She said pictures.
On that day
we changed trains. No pros and cons,
no weighing up, no maybes. We began
a new, long journey. Sad brief goodbyes
and glad reunions, seldom jaded conversation,
Mozart and Beethoven, Prague and Paris,
meetings and marches to celebrate
the elusive doves of peace: these
were the stations of our pilgrimage.
Two baby girls awaited us.