by Douglas Thompson
On the night train from Dresden
we are the only people in the first class coach
a surreal corridor of empty chairs
ghostly glossy magazines
swing from empty overhead racks
like the last flags of placation or surrender
in languages I cannot read.
Our train marches forward
forthright to Prague and progress
while I clutch my postcards
of a great city’s classical ruins
the Frauenkirche, Semper’s Hoftheater,
tinted images of a heritage destroyed
my only connection with the murdered past
prized and razed by another generation.
around us sleeps in silence
the fractured city
where fifty years ago
a hundred thousand died
in one night of fire.
On the night train
in this empty carriage
we have no luggage
we have no memories
we have no doubts.