Mária Ridzoňová Ferenčuhová - BACK

Everything seems ok.
Rabbis study in the Lublin yeshiva again
even if the Jewish Quarter
is still razed to the ground.
Trains leave just about on time.
We can rely on tannoys or taxis turning up
and underground passages cave
in only once every hundred years.

The smelly couchette only slightly gave me the boke
and looking at the wizened
hulking sleeping cars with curtains
I’m even happy.
I sit opposite a Girl Scout
in a nylon skirt. A steam iron
has left its footprint of fine dots
clearly on her haunch.

Dozing off, I can’t make out
whether sometimes just behind my back
a bulging bottom has plonked down on the bench
or the train at long last has begun to move.
The only thing that gets to me
is the storks that really nest on chimneys
or on tall poles
exactly as in fairy tales.

Translated by David Kinloch