by Jackie Langetieg

Reflections on the Train

Night insects wash their feet
in the silvered pool of rain
next to a midnight train station.

We move once more,
turning and twisting up switchbacks
through mountain’s belly, sound filling me, humming

inside my head, as we enter tunnels and cross each precipice.
Is safety found in the sharp light of risk
or the blind comfort of darkness?

I count miles of rail and red light,
days, yellow marbles with green centers
like pine trees locked in ice

while a dream left on the mirror of memory,
hangs over the side and snares
buffalo from clouds.

Drifting in vertigo and half sleep, we move into the sun--
it warms my face,
and my feet run through clover.

-First published in Trains and Rain, Lonesome Traveller Publishing, 1998