A Sidewalk in Louvain, Belgium

Incessant rain, clearing the smoky
bus fume spew and dark dirt
from the air, keeping the ancient
cobblestone streets clean and neat.
Lumbering trains like tired snakes,
old women peddling bicycles, sacks of groceries
strapped to their bike racks,
old men eating their pommes-frites steaming hot
in the cool gray dusk,
window-boxes with red and yellow flowers,
iron railings, and dark attic windows above,
like the windows in my oh
so tired mind as I look up into the sky and down
at the dreary bustle in the raw streets wondering
about the meaning of it all
and knowing I’ll never know.

Michael Estabrook