Friday, February 20, 2009

Walking a True Line

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
nine millimeter.
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

4 comments:

  1. I never read a work through until I know all of the words. Webster's got a workout today!

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  2. Obeisant - a great word. Trudging with head down wanting to be bad.......

    btw - who were those guys on Life on Mars? What's in that case? You watch - they'll not bring it back - like Eli Stone.

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  3. I know. Aren't these words something?? I love "lugubrious." I like the way it rolls off the tongue and the way is sounds like what it is and can hear Eeyore droning on about it.

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  4. I never read a work through until I know all of the words. Webster's got a workout today!

    ReplyDelete

Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)