My life on the Strassenbahn - Vienna

by Lou Godbold

Round and round

on the Ring -

we must be going somewhere

if you consider the set expressions

and silence of concentration,

or is it just emptiness

that I hear between warnings,

"Es wird ersucht..."

and travelers departing

for lines "Jee" "Oehr" and "Aar."


Life seen through the window -

elegant and sunny

or pompous and cold?

The city lies mummified,

in 1914 stopped breathing

and its children still orbit

for lack of direction

because Schnitzel don't pose questions

and the fugitive philosophers

haven't returned to ask more.


And so we lend activity to futility

regularity to the absurd

and circle the city

Beamte and Burger,

bourgeois and undisturbed;


breath steams the window

lest it turn to communication,

the toddlers become Ältere

and the seeing, blind

as we circle the city

with no end of the line.