Twentieth Century Limited- Betsy Sholl
April 20, 2012, 6:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

I used to think a train whistle fathered me,
story my mother once told, then refused

to repeat, as if conception’s not a subject
for the conceived. It hardly had to do with me:

four A.M. milk train, my father’s wakened passion,
my mother having watched his kindness

to strangers the night before, wanting
that warmth inside her. . .

So, in the pre-dawn I became a passenger
riding their wail, offspring of love cries

too quickly morphed into the all aboard
carrying my father’s coffin back East,

the long sigh of my mother’s widowhood.
Even now, the late-night rumble makes me shudder

as those wheels clatter through town,
arrivals and departures riding the same track.


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