Railway To Hell

The Gypsy jumped from car to car,

never getting off the train


In Davenport through morning fog,

the old town looked the same


The prairies waited in the dark,

the Rockies far beyond


In Denver’s wind he heard the words

to an oft-forgotten psalm


The engine roared, the distance called,

the rails went on and on


The desert lit the night on fire,

to burn the right from wrong


A Reno stop to take on water,

drowning in the past


Through farms and fields and countryside,

to Stockton now at last


His feet stepped down to touch the earth,

and genuflect once more


Before reboarding, headed East

—perdition his true lord


(Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania: April, 2020)


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