L’Américain by Christopher Nielsen


He calls out 
in French
near the train station at Cassis
eager small young traveler,
early twenties.

Showing me a book by
Jack Kerouac—
Le vagabond solitaire.
Asked if I liked Kerouac; 
for sure.

Rucksack partially strapped
over his back,
smiling, you’re américain
he can tell, feel it.

We both have packs, riding  
le chemin de fer
stop for stops, hiking, camping
making friends.

Days later, grabbing my rucksack,
to ride the trains again.
Traveling along for Saint-Tropez, Nice,
maybe Monaco.
Blurring colorful flowing trees
la mer in summer.

Opening my bag
found the book he slipped in.
Le vagabond solitaire.
Favorite book of his,
traveling with him, 
given away.

5 thoughts on “L’Américain by Christopher Nielsen

  1. This is a wonderful poem, capturing the unexpected moment of connection that happens between young travelers so often as they traverse countries, searching for some kind of meaning. My heart goes out to the vagabond who wrote this work. May he find peace and companionship.

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