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Keep your face to the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you. -- Walt Whitman

No Choice by James Graham

No Choice by James Graham

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.

The Linnets Wings