The only time I’ve been to Switzerland
was early one spring on a train through the mountains.
There was a lake—I guess it was Lucerne?
Above me cliff tops ridged with snow fanned out
so that where I stood at the edge of the platform
light bathed the empty siding all around
with a diffused opalescence off the water.
Behind the station must have been a town,
spires of churches, municipal arcades,
and coffee squelching in the fogged cafés.
I never saw the place, though I remember
thinking this is Switzerland and took
a mind-shot of the pines, breathing in the cold
as the porter whistled at us to reboard.
David Yezzi, “A Stop Before Starting” from Birds of the Air. Copyright © 2013 by David Yezzi. Reprinted by permission of Carnegie Mellon University Press.
Source: Birds of the Air
(Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013)