On the Train to Agra

Varanasi to Agra 24 hours

not many miles how long a day

can be and we although every day

is actually the same number of hours

not today today  we watch

outside the train a place we don’t know

why we came to see what we don’t

temples and forts as many gods

as words a husband lifts up his round wife

he holds her up and places her

on the second birth a lotus on a bunk in the train

she covers her head with a blanket and snores

later he lifts her out again  rice and dal

for breakfast chai chai chai we look out

the window white egrets more cows than I’ve

ever seen there are cows on  main street

cows in front of our hotel cows at the train station

next to a 2 year old girl in a purple tutu

women wearing colors I didn’t know

existed sleeping side by side on the train station floor

the season now for guavas and mustard greens

pajama  an Indian word that does not mean pajama

I sleep in my travel yoga pants they have a secret pocket

the secret is outside this train


Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. this poem reminded me of india and made me nostalgic. now i want to go back to find what i may have missed. the poverty is staggering but there is still so much beauty in india.

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