Night Train Through Inner Mongolia

Now the child is a runny-nosed stranger 
you've finally decided to share your seat with, 
and the whole thing keeps heaving into the dark.

The child sleeps unsweetly hunched against you, 
your side is slowly stinging, he has wet himself, 
so you do not move at all. I know you.

You sit awake, baffling about a quirky faith, 
and do not shift until morning. This is why 
you are blessed, I think, and usually chosen.

Reprinted from The Guests at the Gate by Anthony Piccione, foreword by Robert Bly, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2002 by the estate of Anthony Piccione. All rights reserved.