Abandoned rail

bare trees of winter
gray and overcast
dismal towns
snow covered tire piles
cast-off car parts
railroad ties fallen
sloping junkyard
smashed window
vacant warehouse
brick building sides
church on a hill
barren homes
chimney stacks
smoke plumes irritating
the clouds
chipped paint
bluish yellow
the Alleghany river
plunging through—

I’ve come from the future
with novice tongue
cataloging the mind
of a restless boy
with toys
drawn from the child’s foundry
parked in printer’s type
stalled on highways
rusted bridges, bleak overpasses
tractors pipes propane tanks
snow capped in raw
December fields
separated by
human shoulders
molded ungently
by cornered ends
all this
lifeless manufacture
stirring still
a boy’s wonder:
pickups smokestacks trailers
grain elevators
heaped scaffold
abandoned rail, plough
axle and pavement
school bus listing over
painted slab
striped basketball
the iron rim, netless
vanished players:
my words too were once ideas
materialized by same
simpleton urge
roosting my neighbor from sleep
lulled by his own
wagon dream
the atmosphere of questions: these
halfway houses
laddering the air
this chemistry lab
loitering a landscape
of sculpture and stone
and wicked imagination:
where does it all go dead?
will we bury the relics
like we do men?
or will the indentured grass
grow over the wreckage
resurrect itself

my neighbor turns his
resigned head
facing off his reflection
no wonder there

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