Morning rung to attention by distant train horn
beckoning me like an iron bell to a churchgoer.
Ears pass the call inside, stomach rumbles
for new roads, nose hungry for scraping steel.
My feet’s rhythm quickens,
the louder tones now clear –
five penetrating notes stacked up
in extravagant harmony,
complete yet open, pleasing yet dissonant –
to send the question through flesh
to my itching bones,
Gulping the last of this town’s air,
I reach the platform before she stops,
perfume of steam, embrace of smoke
and glinting wheels capture my soul.
At the top of foot-polished steps
the conductor gives voice
to the now-silent whistle: “Where to?”
“How far West does she go?”