Lake Effect, Spring 2014, Volume 18: "Traveling"

Jay Griswold, "Traveling"

The great age of the trains was almost over.
The one he was on that night
Rattled like a cage, inside of which
A few passengers huddled, their few
Belongings clutched tightly in their laps.

Outside, immense space drew near.
In a hundred solitary houses
Worn out bodies surrendered to sleep.
The earth was asleep beneath the snow.
Even the holy water in the darkened churches was asleep.

At times the train stopped
In villages too poor to have a station.
Children were begging beside the tracks.
They were wearing masks.
All of the masks had the same face.