Blacktop Bystander

Blacktop Bystander

Bare feet on the hot blacktop.
I know you hear the train, too.

Wherever you are.
Wherever I am.
I know that when it whistles
I’m not the only one who listens.

When the rails rumble
And cargo shifts
I’m not alone in this catalyst
To thoughts unwanted
And shipments
I won’t sign for.

Timing. Impeccable timing.
Every two hours
That train passed by.
I don’t have to try
Very hard to let it remind

Of everyone else that
Can hear it cry in the night.
Which unfortunately includes you.

Feet stained black
From the asphalt

In the middle of the tracks
And the roads
And streets
And sidewalks.

Everyone waiting to be
Overrun
By the
Sound
Of tons
Of steel.

Everyone waiting for
The train to move on
And not again
Pass upon
This too-small town
With the station
At its center,
A dubious venter
Yelling countertenor.

Not in agony
But it
Speaks to we

Where when it whistles
Every hour
On the hour,
Sharpening
On strop,
Everyone
Can hear it
From the
Blacktop.

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