Riding the Rails
I’m writing a train poem I say, something about
journeys and new beginnings. It’s dark outside
and cold, mid-November. We hold our hands
over flames and wish for glasses of smoky red
wine. Nothing sad, I say, no stories like the one
my boss told me. His best friend walking home
drunk on a train track in Chicago. Or that other
one, he says, about the girl you knew who tried
to beat the train but her car wasn’t fast enough.
No, I say, nothing about tracks overgrown
with weeds or drinking too much gin or wanting
to get home so bad that you end up six feet
under. No, he agrees, there’s too much death
in your poems, it’s time to move past all that.
Trains can be hopeful, I say, like the light
at the end of the tunnel. He nods his head
and says I’m sure you’ll think of something.
Although she received her MFA in Creative Writing from American University more than 25 years ago, Beth Gordon can best be described as an emerging writer. Half a dozen of her poems were published in various on-line literary journals in 2016. She is the proud mother of three very creative human beings: Matt, Alex and Elise, who fill her world with art and music. Beth resides in St. Louis, Missouri and spends most weekends in Highland, Illinois in the company of fellow writers, music lovers, wine drinkers, and two dogs named Izzie and Max.