Right at the end of the Lugnez valley,
beyond the back of the back of beyond,
the mountains cradle the town of Garaús,
whose name translates poorly as “the very end”.
An ill-chosen name it would seem since a path
carries on past the graveyard, and then veers off
left through the alderwood brush to the bridge.
This spans the Giur Daun, a river whose name
you’ll look up in vain on the ordinance map.
The track mounts a ridge first, drops for a stretch,
then climbs a dark chimney of igneous rock,
thus leading further and up to the point
where a wide-bottomed valley with rolling fields
spreads out in front – yellow and green.
This place has an absolute absence of names:
Nameless the people, their homes, and their hopes.
Unnamed the three bus-lines which serve the vale.
None of the drivers was given a name.
Yet you will recall each one of the men,
each face a lifelike rendering
of one of your acquaintances.
You will feel they should answer you,
yet they are not ambassadors.
Only drivers with no knowledge
of the people they resemble.
Besides, you’re not to speak to them
says the sign above their heads.