Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wisconsin Freight Trains
“Frac sand boom contributes to crowded tracks, Amtrak delays” The Cap Times

by Sylvia Cavanaugh
Early this morning
between four and five
three freight trains
with their load of frac sands
clanked stealthily
through this small town
of red tulips
and decorative windmills
spinning like the answer in the wind

settled years ago by those who found
Holland to be too liberal
Holland with its mastery of wind
water and bicycle
I’ve never been awakened
by this many trains so close together

my heart used to rise
to the sound of night trains
when I entered puberty
their distant whistle
beckoning something untamed
lurching into womanhood

trains were multi-colored back then
like muted strings of children’s toys
personalized with distant
voices etched in exuberant
aerosol script
and outlandish illustration

otherworldly lives riding the rails
carried for a breathless moment
through our village
of well-swept streets

these grey freight trains now
heralding a new day
are now
just business.

1 comment:

  1. When I was entering puberty (as a boy in Wales, UK), many of our headiest dreams were of American freight trains, the world evoked by Johnny Cash and others. This re-creation, with the bonus element of the little Dutch town, really spoke to me. Thank you, Sylvia.