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A Winter Southbound

The fallen leaves scattered across the tracks,
Southbound 53 would push these farther on.
A love that was empty as Ashland’s winter trees—
A hard weight was lifted now that she’d gone.

No tears, but also no joy, would be found here.
Yes, may the very best find its way over to her;
And should any good be left over hanging out
Perhaps might could entertain here along with Jack’s purr.

Santy Claus is due to arrive in a few days
And we’ve all tried to be and to do our best;
But sometimes it’s never close to good enough
And you cancel flights along with all the rest.

Maybe in the new year happiness real will come
And everyone can breathe and let it all just be;
Festivals and dances return for our lives renewed
And I can get back to that crescent bend in the Mississippi.

The southbound blew its horn passing thru Ashland town
And the online chatroom railfans counted up all the cars.
The empty trees shimmied in the rolling winter wind;
The resettled leaves looked up and counted up all the stars.

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B&W Autograph

His smile
Blunted and shunted off to the corner of a face
The eyes
Hooded, angry, pleading—
A cold Covington, LA winter day,
But Bright Sunny,
But not his smile;
Peacoat buttoned up,
Chin up,
Wondering—
Why was he caged in his playpen inside the chickenWireFence?
Years later they’d say it was to
Keep out the snakes,
But the trauma was past and present,
He had boldly wandered into realms beyond a childhood safe and simple,
In the Brownie black and white photo he kept,
To remember,
To hope,
To repair,
Kept for his own sake
And proof:
QED