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Railway Car, a poem by Patrick Kalahar

Railway Car
     by Patrick Kalahar

The empty railway car
abandoned on a siding
complains of neglect,
but rusting steel rails
hunkering in their bed of stone
are driven to silence
by stakes of iron.
The tall grasses bend
eastward toward the sun
in obeisance or mockery,
their thin, delicate blades
licking like tongues
against wheel and car
rasping tales of death—
or perhaps it is only the wind

The railway car denies death.
It holds within
every journey it has taken,
the silent thoughts and voices
of every passenger are inscribed,
eternal in air
it is not
the wind

Patrick Kalahar is a used & rare bookseller who lives and works with his poet/novelist wife Jenny in an old schoolhouse in Elwood, Indiana. He performs readings of and dresses as Edgar Allan Poe, participates in local poetry groups, and was interviewed and appeared in a Public Broadcasting television documentary about the Indiana folk-poet James Whitcomb Riley. He is a book restorer and collector.