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The Rail Archived
Treasures Along The Rail Archived Issues
Fall & Winter 1996
Fall & Winter 1996

Poetry Corner
By: Kathleen Hellen

Dance of the B & O

She climbed the rail,
arms outstretched,
one foot in front of the other.
That was how she learned
the beauty of form,
how she learned to keep her
eyes on something else besides
the moonlike craters of the
slag dump,
beside the junkyard with its
bent-neck yellow crane and
wrecking ball.
Small against the sun
she danced this steel rail
like a tightrope walker,
never looking back,
never missing a step.

The Last Coal Train

Coal train, coal train,
coming down the track
with the clackety-clack
that shakes the shake,
makes window panes hum
and bare bulbs flicker
like strobes.
Coal train, coal train,
black diamond load
a humpbacked toad
as engine smokes
and wheels spark steel
like lightening.
Coal train, coal train,
whistle stings the sky-
the long goodbye
the silence.

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