I was three years old

The end of the age of trains

Even though nobody knew

I wore an engineers cap

Striped overalls

Was the darling of the porters

Who knew the mysteries of transformation

Changing open windowed couch vistas

Into halled havens



Along trackside curves

We belly watched as our coppers were flattened

Spat out from heaving rounders

The best were the ones you could still read

Barely, slightly curved


Then came the panorama car

Drifting at speed through mountain passes

Or through interminable prairies

Grain elevators

So many

Who knew?


Throughout it all


Plaintive and unavoidable

Annunciation and warning

Get the hell out of dodge cause we ain’t slowing down

Kind of whistle


Imagining the cowcatcher

Which is long since gone

Fulfilling its function

Smells of train


Shuttered steam diesel

Unwashed flesh

Rich odiferous narrowness

While the images flash by

Of a country ignoring itself


David Trudel   ©  2013


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