On the Track

On the Track

for Mark Strand

I appeared to have been run over by a train,
a train long out of eye- and out of earshot.
The sun was not yet risen. I lay still,
spread-eagled on the track, the stillness broken
by an ardent twittering from a nearby alder,
the bird unseen, the topmost twigs and buds
awash in the dawn breeze—a paradise
I never can enter now, not even dream of,
trespassing among aspens and magnolias;
a world devoid of argument or creed,
all unaware of being contemplated.
All I was suffering was my bafflement
in the face of this vast life, but still—

I have said too much. Maybe there was no train.
Just this life I’m always just outside of,
the mystery still impregnable, still immense,
not to be sounded by melodious words
or the fading outcry of a distant train.