Like a cartoon of a man in a desert,
Fallen on his knees and dying of thirst,
Who suddenly sees ahead of him
A fresh pond and some palm trees,
Once on a train approaching Chicago,
I saw a snow-peak mountain
I knew perfectly well was not there,
And yet I kept looking, seeing even
A green meadow with sheep grazing,
When the clouds of black smoke
Swirling over the huge steel mills
Hid that lovely vision from my eyes.
From No Land in Sight by Charles Simic. Used with permission of the publisher, Knopf. Copyright 2022 by Charles Simic.