Poems – Passage For Allen Ginsberg – Ai Ogawa

 

Sunflowers beside the railroad tracks, 

sunflowers giving back the beauty God gave you 

to one lonely traveler 

who spies you from a train window 

as she passes on her way to another train station. 

She wonders if she were like you 

rooted to your bit of earth 

would she be happy, 

would she be satisfied 

to have the world glide past and not regret it? 

For a moment, she thinks so, 

then decides that, no, she never could 

and turns back to her book of poetry, 

remembering how hard it was to get here 

and that flowers have their places as people do 

and she cannot simply exchange hers for another, 

even though she wants it. 

That’s how it is. 

Her mother told her. 

Now she believes her, 

although she wishes she didn’t. 

At fifty-three, she feels the need 

to rebel against the inevitable winding down. 

She already feels it in her bones, 

feels artery deterioration, and imagines 

cancerous indications on medical charts 

she hopes will never be part of her life, 

as she turns back to the window 

to catch the last glimpse of the sunflowers 

that sent her thoughts on a journey 

from which she knows she will never return, 

only go on and on 

and then just go.

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