Railroads and Memories

When I see the railroads I think about the trains I took in my life and where they brought me.

I am thirteen years old and I am traveling by train on my own to Moscow. In my car compartment there are four of us; a married couple, a young girl and me. I was told by mom to be careful and not to get into conversations with strangers but as soon as our train takes off I am totally involved in conversations. I am fascinated by a young girl who is much older than I am. She has a little book of poems in her hands. We talk, she reads some poems to me from her book. I am not familiar with a poet. I know so little about poetry. Alexander Blok… His poems make me silent. There is something in them I can’t understand but I can feel. I feel sadness and I want to cry but try to stay calm. I especially like the poem “The Stranger”. I ask the girl to read it to me over and over again and she reads:

And every evening, at the appointed hour
(or is it merely a dream of mine?),
the figure of a girl in clinging silks
moves across the misty window.

Slowly she makes her way among the drinkers,
always escortless, alone,
perfume and mists emanating from her,
and takes a seat near the window…

Strange… The industrial scene, the curvy railroads tracks and memory about the girl who introduced me to the her favorite poet Alexander Blok in the train to Moscow.

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