When the train stops, the woman said, you must get on it. But how will I
know, the child asked, it is the right train? It will be the right train, said the
woman, because it is the right time. A train approached the station; clouds
of grayish smoke streamed from the chimney. How terrified I am, the child
thinks, clutching the yellow tulips she will give to her grandmother. Her hair
has been tightly braided to withstand the journey. Then, without a word,
she gets on the train, from which a strange sound comes, not in a language
like the one she speaks, something more like a moan or a cry.
“Utopia” by Louise Glück, from Faithful and Virtuous Night. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
(originally posted December 11, 2016)