Filial by Henry Lyman


Long winter clouds, and a train rushing on
over empty flatlands, and no one on the train
save two dim figures silhouetted in a window,
erect, familiar, their faces lifted always toward
those distances before them, the train receding
to a station house with no one on the platform
ever as I hurry to outrun the train, to be there
waiting for them, be there waving to them
just as they descend, lest they move away
alone across the station, with no one there
to greet them or to tell them where they are.



Read Fort Juniper: A Poets Place by Jessamyn Smyth



Henry Lyman’s work has appeared in The Nation, New England Watershed, The New York Times, Poetry, Talking River, TQ, and other periodicals. He edited Robert Francis’s posthumous collection Late Fire, Late Snow and an anthology of New England poetry, After Frost, and has published two books of translations. For twenty years he hosted Poems to a Listener, a radio series of readings and conversation with poets. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and serves as a trustee of Fort Juniper and an executor of Robert Francis’s literary estate.