As the train pulled into a crowded town,
crumbling buildings betraying failed industry,
two women entered my compartment
both veiled in the Muslim modesty.
Their hands were tattooed with henna stain
as intricate as fine French lace
and one of them, a blushing bride,
was careful not to show her face.
Her companion fussed over her,
finding easy cause for mirth,
especially that an infidel
was sharing their train berth.
Close by, across the aisle,
an attractive woman in modern garb
was sitting much more casually –
she glanced at me with scant regard.
I am the intruder here,
incongruous in their lives;
an inverted, empathic view,
seen through my blue eyes.