This is Not a Train Poem

This is Not a Train Poem

Poem by Val Dering Rojas
Photo by Dorothee Lang

although there is a train passing like another goodbye, and every

goodbye is like a steel wheel, bending the steel underneath with

each interruption of sound, then bending it just a little bit more–

and this is not a poem about the station at midnight, although night

is like an empty suitcase, and if I look inside long enough, space becomes

phantasmagoric: a small blue house, a girlfriend on the porch,

a red hat tossed in the river–and this is not a poem about the howl of the whistle,

and the howl of the whistle is not a ghost, although whistles are like rooms

without furniture: obstinate and alone—and this is not a poem about

your father walking the tracks, if only to keep strangers safe, although strangers

can be like boyfriends who are like boxcars, and a casket is shaped like a boxcar

or like a sleeping berth on a train, but I’m not going to tell you about boxcars,

because this is not a poem about a train.

-refers from the line “absence flooding down the track” in Arun Sagar’s poem Waiting at Chatelet Station

  1. Val . .just amazing. “although night is like an empty suitcase” . . .I loved that and all the rest. Great idea, to say “this is not a train poem or a poem about ______.

  2. Thanks Debbie! I am so excited to be in my favorite mag!

  3. Beautiful imagery, delicately done. Great job.

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