Every train you see is not a train. Every train is a story. Some seem to shrug and stroll along ready for anything that goes. Others keep their eyes forward but break from the pack the first chance they get. Some scream through the night as if set afire. Another aches and aches. This one is sleek but strong like your mother; that one broods like your father. And look at this one painted for town and that one filled with swaying cattle. But oh, these are always cozy and carry you in their womb. A few even whisper words that tickle your ear and say love love love. Every train you see is not a train. Some are grandmotherly; others are fresh out the station. Some trains take each day at full force while others know the journey is all about possibilities. Others never even get to start. So many trains: how many track back and forth and loop back again? How many never give mind to the cargo packed painfully tight moving through the heavy night? How many chug along past all the town squares that stay silent as untold stories? --- M. E. Silverman had 2 books of poems published and co-edited Bloomsbury’s Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, and 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium.
Home scratches at her shingles with tree branch fingers, pulls the air conditioning unit close to her grimy aluminum siding, and keens an empty song of mourning. We found her wandering the tornado snarled wild three months ago, starved and lonely. She doesn’t know how to take care of herself, you see? We fed her shards of dining room tables, kindling for the fireplace, and cast iron bathtubs clawed feet first. She was slow to recover so we gutted her plumbing, ripped out her nerves, and rewired the electricity. She let the water in every time it rained so we put a new roof on her and let her out for regular walks around the wolf pen. Let her mingle with the vultures, I said, let her feel useful and clean up the dead but no one wanted to listen. We found rot an mold in her corners, infused her insulation with antibiotics, and quarantined her for two weeks while she belched ladderback chairs, sofa cushions, wind chimes, and broken bookcases. She still has her bad days. After feeding time