This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

John Cassidy Three Poems

Swaying to the movement of the train
        this standing passenger
this pale-haired Polish girl
        holding her open book
frowns and half-smiles in harmony,
        it must be,
with the process of her reading.

Lost in her language, lost here
        perhaps among the foreign voices,
this is a  different landscape of the mind,
        the mother tongue a refuge now, the
embrace of the familiar, the smell of home.

Here is a book among the phones
        and tablets, newspapers and vacancies
filling the train. She grips with one hand
        the back of a seat for balance, the other
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