Poetry and Poetics
Always the passing of trains in the night,
The sound becoming a part of sleep, unnoticed,
Until one night you hear the call, and know
That a certain train has come for you at last.
The cars illumined with strange empty light,
The dining room with its starched tablecloths,
Its gleaming chairs, the lanterns swinging
In time with the headlong surge of the wheels.
Diesel engine, steam engine, wood-burner,
It does not matter, it is slowing down now,
And it has come for you, already you can see
How it glides to a stop in the empty station.
The stationmaster waves his yellow lantern
And confers with the conductor. It is time.
The train has arrived. You must go forward.
Passengers peer from the clouded windows.
The conductor folds down the steps, he beckons,
It is time, it is time, the whistle calls, the engine
Lets off steam, steam roiling and billowing
Far down the edge of the long dark platform.
© by Jared Carter
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