My trip into the vanished past
is prodded by springs in my seat,
cracked vinyl scraping an elbow,
and thirst for water, not truth.
This train ain't bound for glory,
just a slow sixty miles down country
through thickets and shorn fields,
weaving on unsafe tracks.
Today's train ain't no showpiece,
just an engine and three rusted cars,
soot seeping through cracks,
till I wonder what I was thinking,
traveling into Kansas this way,
my life there on that Paola farm
surrounded by woods and trees,
the slow trickle of a muddy creek,
crags below the wooden bridge,
a black hawk circling the hedge,
the farmhouse beyond the hill,
and despite all, enduring love.
I should have gone first class.