High Wycombe
by Evelyn Posamentier

                           In Memoriam Evelyn Noble

last train back to london in an hour
after that no commuter trains till morning
no public transit in this town
a couple of taxis wait near the depot
here my mother wept through a war
an alien the kind rich woman took her in
as a maid on her estate through the winter months
she smashed some glass in the kitchen
a plate crashed to the floor, hands to her face
oh, the throat, the shard that sliced her arm
dropped again to the floor
i’m so goddamned sorry, mother
everyone is dead. no one can hear us
they all comforted you, the war torn refugee girl
so beautiful, so round her eyes
what did it matter? what business have i here?
near dark in a town not far from london
i look through the public records for traces
of the kind, rich lady, who loved the poor
the homeless, their faces smeared with war
the librarian persists: are you sure she had no descendants?