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:: The Railway Crossing by Janet I. Buck ::

The only way to get urban
to stop is to have a wreck,
introduce an ambulance,
or ring the bells of railroad cars.
I sat impatient at the lights
and memorized the clicking wheels.
Graffiti painted on their homes,
each car had stories to be told
my obligation did not know.
Except for rust, except for paint,
except for sparks that jumped the tracks.
I had the sense of something bigger
than I was: Norris and his octopus.
A man approached the passing bricks,
inching toward his Parthenon.
Homeless oiled his needy grip.
Conductors waved his hands away.
God, it seemed a crazy bat
endorsing mortal arrogance.
There wouldnt be a welcome mat
without a paper ticket stub.
They pushed him off and put him out
like stogies in a candy dish.

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