Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Arlene Weiner: At Spuyten Duyvil

 

My brother stood many an hour

to watch and name the trains

where they crossed the Harlem River

the powerful diesel engines

the long countable freights

the slender silver cars

from places we’d never been

and never expected to see

 

He left our dim neighborhood

lived decades in green New Jersey

behind the basalt Palisades

then crossed the Hudson again

lives east of the Tappan Zee

the long long Tappan Zee bridge

the slow-moving tolled bridge

 

You’re moving closer

to where we came from

 

A joke—he’s moved always

upward, upward.

It’s true he can take a train south

a convenient commuter train

past the perilous neighborhood

where both of us began

and where on restless nights

I’m lost in a tangle of streets

 

That train doesn’t stop

in our old neighborhood

but one Sunday at Spuyten Duyvil

the silver beautiful train

lay a stiff broken arc

and some of the lucky commuters

who sped through that neighborhood

stopped short at the Harlem River

and will not cross again

Copyright 2016 Arlene Weiner. From her collection City Bird published by Ragged Sky Press.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2016 by in Poetry and tagged , .
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