Old Age, Another Country
by Ute Carson
"Scissors and Spackle" Volume III, December 2011

I want to get off this fast train
that makes no leisurely stops
at quaint country stations
to let me cross the tracks
and ride back.

I have packed the wrong books,
my tailored suit pinches my waist,
my ankles are swollen,
and my hair is afrizzle
from a nocturnal rumble through memories.

I thought myself prepared.
Loved ones assured me that
this journey would be manageable.
Now I sulk with a headache
and the cold station sandwich sits in my stomach
like a sack of wet grain.

I try to adjust,
use my jacket as a pillow,
drink in the passing landscape
with longing eyes,
suppressing the urge to jump out
and run light-footed across the blooming meadows
with the sun tickling my nose.

I feel confined
but hope that when I reach my destination
I will find something pleasant and familiar
in a country I have no desire to visit.

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