H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
Padua train station
For my cousin Titi
Ten years on you pass by your own blood
As the trains halt to greetings and goodbyes,
Both of you away from your country,
Meeting in a place where the language
Is the one which neither of you speaks:
On this trip you sought a reunion.
First ten years of your life he raised you,
Fed you, scolded you, watched over you
With kind blue eyes, taught you how to know
The rhythm of the land, the right procession
For weddings and funerals, helped you
Get on the horse and instruct it to stop and go.
And here, in the Christmas chill at the station
You pass by each other twice with thumping hearts:
When he grabs your arm you arch:
Oh, God, how you have answered my prayer
To live on the side of forgetting, how his blue eyes
Flicker with pain in the chiselled stranger’s face!
We visit Giotto’s frescoes restored and unveiled
For the first time in twenty years: on one side
There is the life which leads to hell,
On the other is the life which leads to heaven
And above, Giotto blue with golden stars,
Above which the Padua sky opens grey silences
Over the piazza and the narrow streets.
[Originally published in NHS 2006, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs06/Bugen.htm.]