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MONTAGUE, John


All Legendary Obstacles


All legendary obstacles lay between

Us, the long imaginary plain,

The monstrous ruck of mountains

And, swinging across the night,

Flooding the Sacramento, San Joaquin,

The hissing drift of winter rain.


All day I waited, shifting

Nervously from station to bar

As I saw another train sail

By, the San Francisco Chief or

Golden Gate, water dripping

From great flanged wheels.


At midnight you came, pale

Above the negro porter's lamp.

I was too blind with rain

And doubt to speak, but

Reached from the platform

Until our chilled hands met.


You had been travelling for days

With an old lady, who marked

A neat circle on the glass

With her glove, to watch us

Move into the wet darkness

Kissing, still unable to speak.