In the Village

Chemin de Fer

Alone on the railroad track
   I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
   or maybe too far apart.

The scenery was impoverished:
   scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
   I saw the little pond

where the dirty hermit lives,
   lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
   lucidly year after year.

The hermit shot off his shot-gun
   and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
   The pet hen went chook-chook.

"Love should be put into action!"
   screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
   tried and tried to confirm it.