Archive for August, 2016

What Old Men Do When They Tell Their Wives They’re Going o Walk the Dog

August 14, 2016

What Old Men Do When They Tell Their Wives They’re Going to Walk the Dog


Old men come down to the depot just to see what’s still there,


the switch lock, the train orders, the dispatcher’s chair.

Yellowed papers hang from clipboards of a grander time,

when the Rock Island Rocket ruled the main line.

She breezed through town at a hundred miles an hour,

with a hearty “Highball!” from the man in the tower.

Picks and shovels once held by artisans of track

now stand covered with cobwebs in the gandy dancer’s shack.

All that remains is a weathered shell, broken shed

and dreams of legends in an old man’s head.



August 14, 2016

dont take a flasher at Low Moor

wait for something better

let the hill slow you down,

let gravity do the work

feather your independent

make a nice easy joint.

center your reverser

be ready to move quickly in either direction

long gone  engineers left me

these little truths.

I think of them still,

each time I do my tasks

their bodies live again

through my hands on the brake

and throttle

Most importantly, when your vision is blocked

by the cars you are pushing, look

down at the shadows they cast on the ground-

the shadows will tell you how close you are

to making your connection