Josef Straka - FRANKFURT (ODER)

I pass, shreds of words already part of history
of the small ordinary one,
due to the track closure I wait with others for a surrogate line
a few villages in an orangish haze, a sundown we still seem to escape from
Petersdorf, Jakobsdorf, Briessen
people on the stops, awkwardly dragging their feet on the platforms
never a similar bus has passed through here, their worries
and also relief at seeing it come at last
just before darkness falls
shopping bags, shoulder bags with Adidas forever inscriptions, a netbag,
a black suitcase tied to a handrail with a white string
people keep quiet, the delay of the evening never to be made up for

Translated by David Vichnar