Matthew James Friday

The Return

Arrive at Schynige Platte by train
railway started in 1891 ahead alpine
mountains still rising from continental
crash course glaciers receding under
an accelerated heat death sentence
mineral grey glacial river surging
down the Lutschental valley invisible
virus moving so swiftly we need masks
when pressed together Alpenhorn couple
in traditional costumes saunter back
to the station to greet arrivals notes
bumping this vista green fields farmed
for over a thousand years says a sign
the constant of the cowbells blades of
grass humming Alpen garden coloured
gift between the snow flowers nodding
in a temperamental breeze tiny smokey
cloud sneaking up on the Shilthorn
on way to evaporated emptiness two
swifts dance and dive across the skyline
following the line of depth disappearing
in darkened valleys reappearing framed
by crumbled peaks of summer before
they return to Africa sun creeping west
light now eight minutes old shadow
of a lamp to my right lengthening two
paragliders clip thermals as they eagle
the languages of all the passing tourists
from skipping children to hobbling grand
parents, striding backpackers and smoking
train-trippers all impatient to return
all will return in the end

Matthew James Friday is a British-born writer and teacher. He has had poems published in numerous international journals, including, recently: One Hand Clapping (UK), Borderless (India), and The Ear (USA). The mini-chapbooks All the Ways to Love, Waters of Oregon, and The Words Unsaid were published by the Origami Poems Project (USA). Matthew now resides in the US.