“The Train” by Richard Jones

We’re all on the train
to oblivion, so let’s
ride in the bar car
or take a high seat
in the observation car
and count the small towns
or simply enjoy
the music of wheels rolling
underneath us all,
the comforting sound
of the tracks that point one was
the sudden darkness
of tunnels through hills
and then the strong light that comes
as we drowse and doze
or turn the pages
of a novel we’re anxious
to finish reading
before we arrive,
engine slowing to a stop,
at the terminal
where we all depart,
end of the line, home sweet home,
stepping off the train
and now carrying
nothing in our hands, no bags,
only our brief lives
like an old black coat
we throw over our shoulders
in case it gets cold.

Richard Jones’s two most recent books are “Stranger on Earth” (Copper Canyon Press, 2018) and “Avalon” (Green Linden Press, 2020). He is the editor of the literary journal “Poetry East,” which in 2020 will celebrate 40 years of publishing with “Poetry East #100,” a special volume called “The Bliss of Reading.” www.RichardJonesPoetry.com