10-Line Tuesday

May 10, 2016

crossroads at the railyard

When the phone call comes, I am sitting in a parked car near a train station
in Hudson, New York. "Your father," a woman I don't know says in French,
because she is calling from his house in the middle of Brittany. It is an hour before
I know he is alive and lucid, eating dinner in a hospital bed in Ploermel,
an hour when I am cursing myself for all the words I cannot translate,
when I don't know if I heard the verb tenses right. No train arrives
to drown out the uncertainty. No whistle interrupts the tears. Only the wind
keeps me company, blowing back and forth across the tracks,
rippling the overgrown weeds, making a small chaos of empty paper cups
and spent tissues while I watch, helpless, from the window.