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Supper Waits

"You've gotta ride that little black train
that's comin' in the night."
Woody Guthrie ~

Seldom that a train travels southwest.
Most times it's headin' northeast onto
Chicago or such.
But today, I hear its deep call far
behind me, as my dog and I
walk alone through these fields,
borders tucked alongside the tracks.

I look back to see the face
of the engine, still off a ways,
but, partin' the great plains
with its forceful body, holdin' the low
earth, and claimin' the almighty sky.

I've roamed these fields since boyhood,
my feet hard on old, familiar ground.
The land reaches up just so far, and I
can taste the wind rising from the dust.

The train draws closer now, its heavy holler
tinglin' through my knees and on up to my jaw
as my dog pauses - she seems to take notice of
the flashy graffiti singin' off the freight cars. I wonder
about such things. It flows like lyrics to the lullin' of the train;

"There's a little black train a-comin'
Comin' down the track
You gotta ride that little black train
But it ain't a gonna bring you back."

We watch the last car shimmy sort of side't'side
down the tracks, my dog standin' up, tail waggin'
as she looks up with hopeful eyes. I know, girl, I say.
Suppertime, and there's a sweet picture waitin' on the nightstand.

She races back, northeast bound and determined,
the last sound of the train, sighin' as if
no one knew we were ever there.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

I love the reference to Woody Guthrie. this is a fun read, even if it does feel a movement towards the past, sort of haunting and in shades of grey. my favorite lines are:

The train draws closer now, its heavy holler
tinglin' through my knees and on up to my jaw
as my dog pauses - she seems to take notice of
the flashy graffiti singin' off the freight cars. I wonder
about such things. It flows like lyrics to the lullin' of the train;

I must say: very well done!

*hugs, Cat

*
When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

Very much a reflective piece about mortality and a different time.
Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing your thoughts!
L

author comment

this is a lovely and engaging poem. Very well written!! nicely done once again lavender!
thanks for sharing
-MM

I appreciate you reading and commenting!
Thank you so much!
L

author comment

this definitely has the feel of "The Plains". Somewhere out past the fields, a lonesome sound in the night. The same lines touch my mind in "I wonder about such things, and the flashy graffiti singing off the freight cars" Nicely done. ~ Geez.
.

There is value to commenting and critique, tell us how you feel about our work.
This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place.

I watched a long freight train travel by a while back, and studied the way the graffiti carried along with the movement and sound of the train. It was mesmerizing.
Thank you for reading! I am grateful for your comments!
L

author comment

This is lovely Lavender and I went and found and listened to Guthrie's song which also gave me the feeling of a train moving. It does have an old time feel to it and as usual your imagery is excellent. I could see the "graffiti singin'" in my mind. Really great job and very enjoyable. Ruby :) xx

Give and grow - let's raise our verses together. I'm happy to comment on your work and appreciate a comment on mine.

Recently watched a freight train heading in the opposite direction of its usual route. The Woody Guthrie song seemed to match the sentiment as I watched.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Lx

author comment

In rereading your poem, I found a memory riding with my step-grandpa who was an Engineer on the Milwaukee Road. I was very young, like six or seven, and saucer-eyed impressed! I don't recall if it was out of Minneapolis or St.Paul. Mostly I remember the butterflies in my stomach and sounding the whistle at crossings, etc. and the kindness of this tall, gentle soul! Thank you for returning a treasured time to me!

*hugs, Cat

*
When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

What a lovely memory! I'm happy if this brought it back to you!
L

author comment

It is my opinion that your poetry should be required reading.

*ever, eddy styx

*
When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

thank you! I learn more every day from reading and critiquing the poetry of everyone here, yours included, Eddy!
L

author comment

;) cheeky smiles

*ever a fan, eddy

*
When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

I like the changes...smoother.

*ever, eddy styx

*
When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

Appreciated!
L

author comment

I like how you started with song lyrics in the beginning ..the possibilities of all the different destinations we can go by train. Great job.

~RoseBlack~

I noticed you were away a few days - so good to see you! This is one of those poems that wrote itself. It had the voice of an older man, perhaps a widower, out walking with his dog and pondering life.
Thank you for reading. Your thoughts always mean a great deal to me!
Lx

author comment

Yes I am back. Needed a few days to take care of some things. My dad and his dog would walk multiple times a day and he said she helped him through more times than not. They had many conversations. Great poem.

~RoseBlack~

...truly man's best and most devoted friend.
L

author comment
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