Out of the dust

I could feel the heat from the rails as I looked down the tracks
A bend in the line down there meant I’d hear the engine and the wheels before I saw the train but I looked for it anyway

Looked through the waves of heat, the smells, oily iron and gravel, bitter weeds, the pieces of foil and old paper in the crushed rock where I stood

This train, this chain of rusted couplings and red brown cars

This train from the East just minutes way. I can hear the singing of the wheels through the steel, the sound bouncing between the yellow and green cottonwoods… just a minute away. Then West and South to the Pacific and cool salt air

There’s the whistle and the steps on to the coach, the seat mashed from ten thousand travelers and some breeze from the windows. A watch chain, a ticket held, the punched mark says you’re okay, you’re leaving, rolling out. Out of the heavy heat and endless dry fields. Out of the dust