Philip Larkin

Like The Train's Beat

Like the train's beat Swift language flutters the lips Of the Polish airgirl in the corner seat, The swinging and narrowing sun Lights her eyelashes, shapes Her sharp vivacity of bone. Hair, wild and controlled, runs back: And gestures like these English oaks Flash past the windows of her foreign talk. The train runs on through wilderness Of cities. Still the hammered miles Diversify behind her face. And all humanity of interest Before her angled beauty falls, As whorling notes are pressed In a bird's throat, issuing meaningless Through written skies; a voice Watering a stony place.

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