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The D Train


Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

The wrong side of the tracks.

They call it the D-train, the one 

    they don’t write songs about,

to somewhere

    But nowhere fast like books

    To which she ran and hid

Like a dog-eared boxcar 

Piled high with wonders 

not coal nor steel nor other things

That other worlds are built upon. 


Books go somewhere 

But, honestly, nowhere fast. 

An imagined life somewhere, 

somewhere else 

like a train destination 

Imagined til the last car

Dissipates from view like a dream,

From sound like a memory 

that might mean something, then again...

close the book, dream again 

dream again remember 


oh he was handsome. Sinatra

Handsome, A-train handsome, this man 

a train to a town called Safe.

And she was. Safe.


She never left. And still the books, 

    those dog-eared boxcars

A pile a week from the local library,

    A place called Safe in this town called Safe.


No one called.

No one stopped by.

No one asked how are you

in this Town called Safe.


Eighty Five years.

This town called Safe

Is now a memory serenely 

Vanishing like a train to somewhere,

Dog-eared like a boney boxcar. 


Dented about the edges,

Rusted into sharp and ragged holes,

The battered steel that held the mind

Sifts the disintegrating dust

Of childhood rape here, the dust of lonely there, 

The dust of regret and I guess this is it,

scattered everywhere on an 

industrial rug in a Safe place

where people go to die. 


Oreck gathers the dropped thoughts

Of this life spent waiting on the wrong 

side of the tracks for the D-train 

that never stopped.


The handsome man mourns. Workers

Swirl, swivel, swoosh, and suck 

the disintegrating particulate of

My mother’s mind.


It is my turn to hold my mother’s 

regrets, fears, pains, longings. 


I know things, and I’m angry,

Until my memory sifts onto 

An industrial rug, freeing us both

From all that arrived and left. 

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