Hungarian Woman (If on a winter’s night a traveler…)

We sought each other out
In those commuting days
Of yore. I liked saving her
The seat beside me because
There is nothing more
Comforting in a cold bus,
On a wintry day, than a
Substantial woman clad
In full length mink.

We conversed about the boots
And the bags she designed,
The intricacies of her trade,
The nuances of a designer bag
Or a thigh length boot and
Ways of instant identification of
Fraudulent handbag DNA.

She was as surprised
to learn that I did not
celebrate a Name Day
As I was to learn that she did.
A fixed name,
For a fixed day
of the year,
And the finite nature of
The pool of all
Hungarian names
For every Hungarian newborn,
Is still cause for
My complete conceptual
Befuddlement.

She told me she spent
A day of the week, every week,
In her apartment in the city,
And when I stopped seeing her
I imagined she had
Moved there for good.

I stopped commuting
To the city myself,
Unless there was cause
For a special appearance.

One such occasion arose
Just last week.

I saw her seated, on the
Seat where we usually
Sat in the old days.
She looked at me
As she would look
At a stranger, no signs
Of recognition in her eyes.

If she could have read
My mind then or heard
My thoughts, she would have
Wondered why a stranger
Knew she was from Hungary,
That she designed
Boots and handbags
And that she celebrated
A day of the year with
So many others who
Shared her name;
A name I had never learnt
Despite our commuting
And commuted conversations.

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