by Andrew Hudgins
Red lights whirling behind her in the sun,
a cop ordered me off the trestle. Why?
I asked, squinting. I knew what she'd say.
I loved this shortcut to my bad job, loved walking
above the street and then above the river,
mincing across the slick, splintering ties
—a true line against a hard blue sky—
teasing a fear of heights with a love of rivers.
The trains don't use it anymore, I called
down to the voice that yelled what authority
must yell: "Get down anyway!" What
a surety the State was—Mom, with a holstered
That evening, as I trudged,
obeisant, below the trestle, giving Mom
time to forget, the creosoted posts,
oozing tar, shuddered like oracles.
Above, unseen, a lugubrious chugging mass,
passed over, painstakingly almost half-aware,
as gods proceed when they think they love us,
we who are in this world to be swept away.
please note: photo by Donncha O Caoimh