“First Train. Boundary Creek Station” by Victor Enns

Victor Enns


I was assembling my apparatus, intent
on taking a photograph of the first train arriving
here at the platform. My initial opportunity destroyed
when a harnessed brown gelding shied at the noise,
the smoke and the steam, the iron wheels grinding the rails. 
Ground shaking under me, I hung on to my camera. 
The terrified gelding broke his forelegs, soon dragged away 
for dog meat, while I reassembled my equipment,
turning my eye back to the train. 

“Boundary Creek” by Murray Toews 

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020
Tribute to Postcard Poems


Victor Enns: “I am drawn to chaos, despite how anxious it makes me. If there isn’t chaos, I make some. Making chaos depresses me, because I was raised to value order. Two summers, I would guess 1959 and 1960, coal-fired steam engines were used when Southern Manitoba grew sugar beets, and there was so much supply that extra trains needed to be laid on to carry the beets to the sugar factory in Winnipeg. The railway ran past our house, and as a four- or five-year-old boy, I was awfully excited. The central image of this postcard and the note on the back are about the first train that arrived in Boundary Creek (fictional) in 1875. Chaos! This may be the start of a graphic book, with free verse accompanying the illustrations. I have worked with Murray Toews, the artist, since about 2011 when I conscripted him to serve as visual arts editor and illustrator for Rhubarb magazine.” (web)

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