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Jürgen Brodwolf: Bandagierung; Figurenfragment (1992)
On the Light Rail

The soused husband leans to take
her knees in his hands,
narrating a night he was lost and what was
there to do
in the dark but feel his way home, he
says this and she,
in her wheelchair, swigs water, repeatedly, as if
his sorrowful happy ending,
when he reached home, makes her thirsty.
When the tram doors open, he
pushes her gently and steadily across the threshold,
onto stable land, and if it is only
the sidewalk where the homeless linger,
and if it is only the collection point
for brown bags that have gathered all morning
from under trestles and out of doorways
when the wind came round
heralding rain, so that the last swallow
of whiskey could not be withheld,
if it was only survival by the day,
there was still, on the railway,
where a wheelchair has priority,
a few blocks’ worth of ordinary trouble,
a man thankful to have a mate,
and something in the offing,
his hands on her unfeeling knees.

Marvin Bell

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