From Town To Town - Poem by Michael Brennan
I should tell you, it’s nothing like home.
Not one of them thinks of me as a stranger,
but they politely welcome me to their houses,
and feed me delicious feasts.
I know, I know it sounds ridiculous.
After each meal, they stroke my eyebrows
and beard, and dry the tears that have run
down my cheeks over months travelling
from town to town.
They tell me they are strangers here,
hanging their word for such things
in the cool night air, between
the beard-stroking and the young eyes
of the oldest among them.
They say soon they will leave me,
but I am to keep feasting in their absence,
that someone will come and I must invite him in,
I must not say too much, but feed him
and afterwards dry his tears.
Before I leave him, I must tell him this
is his home now, that he is no stranger here.
They say, none of this is strange.
They say, they will wait for me in the next town
with their gentle hands and playful eyes,
that the train will take me there, and on the way
I can listen to the old man’s crying
and let the lightness of night find my face,
I can remember the feasts from home,
and wait for silence to have its fill.
They tell me, when we meet in the next town,
they will explain it all.
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