Richard A. Marten
Kaaterskill Junction, Ny
Poem by Richard A. Marten
Come aboard, lad, -
solitary fan club to surrogate fireman;
trip of a lifetime!
The port side seat of the bowlegged,
rollicking, unicorn switcher;
tenor clanking in heavy heat;
trestle thumping on skinny splines;
pattern stenciling a meandering creek
ahead to the switch; a sidle to the siding. Big Iron headlight-piercing the icy night
windy wailing down double rails a
taffy-pulling 'round mountain passes,
caterpillaring through helical wisps
of gauzy white --- ri-tar-dan-do.
Big Iron speaks 'cross the decades:
Ahoy, pal switcher!
Who's that twelve-year-old? Overlays of boyhood summer days,
strata of cold winter nights become;
rails --- converge to junctions,
the Kaaterskill is one; coal cinders
dance again across the spikèd ties
to twirl their tarry partners,
creosote balm arise, binary sensed,
--- into moonlit skies.
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