A Canadian Pacific train today rolls by
With protracted sounds that grind steel
On steel; these echo hello as soon goodbye.
These are not sounds I recall from childhood;
These sounds clarify political intentions, as
Tomorrow this train, full now, goes north empty.
In my town today, railroads’ romance has ended;
The whistle breathes its oath through local hills
Of grim necessity: the wheels roll out, you know,
And if only for the track, the wheels must roll back.
Antipathy seethes at local bars.
At home, paint peels in life-giving sun;
Paint fails its warranty.
Fruit rapidly browns too much to eat.
Love the idea of railroads to create towns,
To link across this broad America, here
Where the whistle wails its ironies.
Workers have dug graves along the routes.
Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. Finishing Line Press released a chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in 2015. Aldrich Press published Naked Among Possibilities in 2016; Finishing Line Press released (1/17) Investment in Idolatry. In August, 2017, Aldrich Press released Not on Any Map, a collection of earlier poems. These poems are all from a new work about prairie life through U.S. history, including regional trials, character, and attachment to the land.