Riding Acela to Boston
Connecticut towns roll by
coffee and church steeples
a successful man in coat and tie
recalling when three and twenty
with no awareness I was blessed
I hopped the train to Shegareni
on my way to Nefasit.
Wheezing ancient mallets
pulling freight cars to the sky
I took the train to Nefasit
high Summer of ‘65
Riding the rails to Ghinda
where villages crawl out of the sand
or rest, perched on rocky mountain crags
coughing and wheezing at dawn.
A mosque, a church, a goatherd
women carrying sticks
a man, a camel, a little boy
scraping for sustenance.
Mothers tending children
men squatting along the road
halal butchered beef and goat
hanging from rusty hooks
‘Twas on that ancient mallet
that I learned about the world;
how much of it was not like mine
for most the stars do not align.
Tonight I ride the Amtak
Silver Star, Miami bound
while in memory drums a clatter
the railroad of my youth.