Face pressed to the glass
Out of fresh blue painted steel
Clattering on polished rails
through fields untouched by time
Sunbaked straw bricks, packed with clay
drawn from the tumbling muddy morning river
Stand in neat rows, awaiting orders.
Trackside, the lazy cow stretches her neck –
just a little,
Contemplating. Is that toothsome bit of green
really worth moving for?
Beyond: her calf in the corn,
With hell to pay at dinner
For brother-sister, who instead
chase each other around the unfinished walls
All in a moment,
and then they are gone.
Or rather, I am.
This is Peru – they have been here for a thousand years
and – I must believe – always will be.
[Written up on the plane home from Peru on Jan 3rd, but based on impressions from
the train ride back from Machu Picchu to Cusco on Christmas Eve, 2009]