The Traveler Watches a Woman

There was no wonder at her walking,
the woman’s walking, walking daily.
He was a traveler, too, in Galway,
and walking daily.

Yet why would a coat—half her years? more?—
fit so smartly?
Or boots and jeans, tanned in time,
match her hair?
How could a face, flushed as the stout-drinker’s,
bear few lines, in this clouded town of pubs and fags and talk?

While he, as she, are unresolved,
her paradoxes she wore;
and strongly strode, no purse or pack—
instead, some silent, self-assumed portfolio.

—Leonard O’Brian