Monday, 23 May 2011

that gleaming rail

i

pot bellied boasting navels
shiny round ball bearing stomachs
haloing out of diesel grime
over alls and silver buttoned railway
insignias

these long waxed pig curled moustache workmen
rotated their lives between shifts of day and night
with metal lunch boxes and coffee tin flasks
strolling main road home or to that gleaming rail
that provided a town’s livelihood

my grand father worked that rail and my father too

providing me with the means
to take that broke back-heart break scenic route
out of town for good and forgetting

until now

ii

coming back everything changed
and the fat men were now old and wiry

sitting on subsidized railway porches
looking on main road maybe thinking rail

going to that station i found it desolated
and the once shimmering humming rail all
rusted up and silent

on my knees and creasing my director slacks
i touched it and imagined the once proud spirit of it
corroding away as the blue collar folks on the porch

3 comments:

  1. Good one Martin. I think you won the contest with this didn't you? It was well deserved.

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  2. I was mesmerized by the Kalahari Blues :)
    enjoy the potluck!

    http://lynnaima.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/the-night-of-the-teardrops/

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  3. 'providing me with the means
    to take that broke back-heart break scenic route
    out of town for good and forgetting

    until now'

    So hard to walk away from the life our parents and grandparents paved for us, and then return to the ruins of such grand ideals. A well-written and poignant piece, Martin.

    ReplyDelete