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D is for Dreams
The Dreams of Old Locomotives
whistle up the wind,
blow grass under the warm
black belly of steel.
The clicking wheels are a song
across the heartland, a song
of arrival, the lyric
movement of one place to the next
over tracks that brace
the low flat prairies, connecting
scarce trees. Tracks that roll
into green hills. The wheels list
one way and the other over tall
trestles and five-step rivers,
past the graveyards that skirt
cities, crossing town over town
nestled in the temporary lull of sleep.
The long whistle sings
a lullaby to
the empty street where the streetlamp
guards the gray roof and the front porch.
Those who sit and watch
the signal light flash its bright
red warning and feel
the rumble of the sleek
heated body as it curves
along the river must always wonder--
Which direction, which direction
and can I go in that direction, too?