Skip to content →

Westbound Train

The yard in Minot is covered in floodwater.

The trees move haunted and slow in the night-

wind. Next to the highway a Cadillac burns while

a man looks over the flames, now and then

dowsing the sideboard with water. I lean back,

watching the satellites bury their light

in the faint slate of stars. The engine hums

quietly under my face. The black snake rides

on a ribbon of pure moon, creaking its way

through the pass. I wake up again at the edge

of Montana—silos and rusted-out granaries loom.

Horses asleep on the cusp of a minor hill,

quietly bending their heads to the grass.

I could be one of them, lit by the billboard signs,

watching the cars disappear down the dark road

forever. My train rocks quietly over the soy fields,

bearing the empty container cars west.

from Poetry Northwest Spring & Summer 2015More by Kai Carlson-Wee from the library

Copyright © Kai Carlson-Wee, 2015.
Used with the permission of the author on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Kai Carlson-Wee Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.