Spun Words

Spinster's poetry...enter at your own risk

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Location: Oakland, CA

Bringing the stories back to history....

Monday, August 15, 2005

Trains aren't convenient

The pulse of America,
our pride the Transcontinental:
two lines converging at a silver spike.
The iron horse chuffed through
fields of wildflowers, over rivers and
into the dark heart of mountains.
It was flying.
It was power.

For the beast on the rails,
we offered up the buffalo
and defiled sacred lands.
Sherman broke the back of a nation
by shattering rail on his path to the sea.

1998, I took Amtrak cross-country
to see the sunflower fields in North Dakota
and the sunsets over the upper great plains.
Passing through towns with ancient,
boarded-up station houses, I wondered
what it meant to the people there
that the train didn’t stop any longer?

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